NEW YORK, Dec. 26, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- As a New Year approaches, Carol Glazer, President of the National Organization on Disability (NOD), is challenging our nation's Fortune 500 CEOs to consider an entirely new approach to their New Year's resolutions: Hire more people with disabilities in 2013. Now celebrating its 30th anniversary, NOD promotes the full participation of America's 56 million people with disabilities in all aspects of life.
"New Year's resolutions are largely personal aspirations, often tied to our health or our family," said Glazer. "I wonder if we might be more successful in keeping our pledges if they were bigger than ourselves. So this year, I'm challenging our Fortune 500 CEOs to resolve to hire more people with disabilities. It's a commitment to the diversity in our country. But more importantly to your CFO, it will boost your bottom line."
Glazer notes that America is facing an impending workforce crisis as Baby Boomers age and retire. By 2030, roughly 20 percent of the U.S. population will be aged 65 and older, and America will need millions of new workers to take the place of retirees in the workforce. Yet, according to the latest NOD/Kessler Foundation Survey of Americans with Disabilities, 80 percent of people with disabilities are not working.
"Companies across the country have begun to realize that hiring talented candidates with disabilities is good for business," added Meg O'Connell, NOD's Vice President, Corporate Programs. "A diverse workforce is a strong workforce. And the disability market, which includes customers with disabilities and their spheres of influence, represents $1 trillion in disposable income worldwide. In this country specifically, people with disabilities control $247 billion in disposable income and represent a consumer population equal to the size of the U.S. Hispanic market. People with disabilities are an untapped talent resource, and one that businesses should prioritize in 2013."
Glazer says for most employers, taking the first steps can be intimidating. But there are three things CEOs can do today to empower their human resources manager to get started:
- Check to see if your corporate materials – such as website, career pages and recruiting materials – discuss disability as a diversity group.
- Ask your recruiters if they have relationships with disability organizations to source talent. If they don't, have them get started.
- Set hiring targets for persons with disabilities just as you do for other diversity groups.
NOD's innovative Bridges to Business program has a proven track record of helping C-Suite executives successfully launch diversity programs. NOD helps employers to effectively recruit, hire, train, and retain jobseekers with disabilities. Bridges to Business also assists agencies that provide job training and placement services to jobseekers with disabilities in working more effectively with businesses.
"America's Fortune 500 CEOs – frankly, all CEOs – are in a position to do something truly meaningful in 2013," added Glazer. "And it's not based in altruism, but rather good business sense. Consider it a New Year's resolution worth keeping."
The National Organization on Disability (NOD) is a private, non-profit organization that promotes the full participation of America's 56 million people with disabilities in all aspects of life. The organization's current focus is on increasing employment opportunities for the 79 percent of working-age Americans with disabilities who are not employed. Current employment programs benefit individuals with disabilities looking for employment, high school students with disabilities transitioning into the workforce, seriously wounded, ill and injured veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, and employers seeking to become more diverse by expanding existing diversity initiatives to include people with disabilities. For more information about NOD, visit www.NOD.org.
SOURCE National Organization on Disability