4 Perks Of Hiring Adults With Disabilities This Holiday Season

How many times do you see videos of adults with special needs enjoying their employment at a local company? These viral videos showcase the community that is built around individuals with disabilities, and most definitely tug at the heartstrings.

As wonderful as this seems, the reality is many adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) are eager to work but struggle to find positions. The first hurdle, of course, is the interview process. Social skills and maintaining eye contact may be a challenge for some, especially in new and uncomfortable situations. With that said, these individuals can be a great asset to your workforce if given a chance, just like any other employee who brings a personal strength to a business.

By hiring adults with disabilities, you not only gain a dedicated worker, but you also help these individuals build their self-esteem and independence. Companies that hire adults with disabilities have seen great success, and even improvement in moral. In a 2014 report for i4cp and Best Buddies International, Steve Pemberton of Walgreens noted, “Because of our investing efforts in employing individuals with IDD at the retail locations, customers often tell us that Walgreens has become their pharmacy of choice.”

Need more convincing to give an individual with disabilities a chance? Here are three perks:

#1: Loyalty

As discussed, adults with disabilities can struggle to find positions. Companies that hire individuals with disabilities often see longer employee retention because these individuals feel a loyalty to the business. With loyalty comes an excitement to be at work, an eagerness to learn, and a happiness to work with customers. Around the holiday season, this excitement and cheerfulness from adults with disabilities can encourage customers to come back.

#2: Kindness

‘Tis the season for good deeds and kindness. And what better way to showcase this then giving someone a job? By having trust and providing an opportunity for adults with disabilities, you’ll help them grow as a person, build their self-confidence, and teach them new skills that can improve their independence. You can have a lasting impact on their life, simply by welcoming them to the team.

#3: Opportunity

Don’t fall behind the trend. Companies across the country are instituting programs to help teach adults with disabilities new skills, including Microsoft, Ford, and Freddie Mac. Adults with special needs create a unique collaborative environment that helps improve working environments, even when it might be a stressful holiday season. Intellectual disabilities don’t have to hold individuals back from achieving success — their special needs can create a special opportunity for your business to build community.

#4: Community

Your customers are part of the community, and they want to see your business be part of it as well. Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities have family and friends that help make up the community, and that surround them with love and support. By opening your business up to adults with disabilities this holiday season, you’re opening yourself up to the community as well. They’ll support their loved ones and want to see their success, making them feel a dedication to your company.

Pathways of Pennsylvania has been serving communities in Pennsylvania since 1981. Every individual has a right to lead a meaningful and positive life, and we are changing lives, one day at a time. Pathways of Pennsylvania is comprised of four companies: Children’s Behavioral Health, Inc., Pathways Community Services, LLC, Raystown Developmental Services, Inc., and The ReDCo Group, Inc.