As National Disability Employment Awareness Month Begins, Social Service Agency Demonstrates the Value Employees With Disabilities Bring to the Workplace
The Chicago Lighthouse celebrates October as National Disability Employment Awareness Month. As an organization championing access and inclusion for all in every part of society, The Chicago Lighthouse encourages all businesses and organizations to prioritize hiring of people with disabilities this month and every month.
A few facts about people with disabilities and their role in the workplace:
- More than 61 million adults (about 26% of the population) have a disability, making them the third-largest market segment in the country. People with disabilities control about $21 billion in discretionary income.
- In 2020, only 18% of people with disabilities were employed in the United States, compared with 62% of those without disabilities, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
- Inclusive organizations, on average, have 28% higher revenue, 200% higher net income, and 30% higher economic profit margins than those that do not, according to Accenture. In fact, 87% of Americans say they prefer to patronize businesses that hire people with disabilities.
- Most (about two-thirds) of accommodations for people with disabilities cost less than $500. In fact, one quarter of those accommodations cost nothing at all, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
The Chicago Lighthouse has been helping people with disabilities find jobs since 1922. The organization is one of the largest employers with disabilities in the workplace. Approximately, 30% of The Lighthouse’s XXX employees are individuals with disabilities.
Sources available to reporters working on stories for Disability Employment Awareness Month are:
- Dr. Janet P. Szlyk, President and CEO of The Chicago Lighthouse. As the driving force behind The Lighthouse’s Call Centers, Dr. Szlyk can speak about the importance of creating employment opportunities.
- Kathy Stoeberl, Executive Vice President and Chief Business Development Officer. Ms. Stoeberl oversees The Chicago Lighthouse’s social enterprise Call Centers and can speak to the value employees with disabilities bring to the workplace.
- Martha Younger-White, Senior Vice President of Employment and Rehabilitation Services. With more than 30 years of experience helping people with disabilities find employment, Ms. Younger-White can address the ways in which employers can make their workplaces more accessible.
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