Ready, Willing and Able to Work: myths and facts about employing people with an intellectual disability

Posted in: NBACL Blog

hero_emp_slideIt’s Disability Awareness Week in New Brunswick and the theme is “Enabling through Employment.” Employment allows us to live a good life and to contribute to our communities in meaningful ways. However, in New Brunswick, 70% of people with an intellectual disability are unemployed or underemployed. Research shows that employer attitudes play a key role in their decision to hire a person with an intellectual disability or autism spectrum disorder (ASD). We believe that if employers learned more about the strong business case for hiring people with an intellectual disability, those statistics would drastically change. Here are some myths and facts that might help to clear up some misperceptions about hiring people with an intellectual disability or autism spectrum disorder. We hope you will share them with employers in your region.

Myth: It costs too much to accommodate an employee with a disability.

Fact: The Job Accommodation Network studied 2000 employees and determined that 57% of employers reported no additional costs from hiring a person with an intellectual disability or ASD. 37% report a one-time minimal cost of less than $500.

Myth: Employees with an intellectual disability or ASD will not be able to contribute as much as their co-workers.

Fact: 73% of employees report that they strongly agree that their new co-workers contribute as much as other to their organization.

Myth: Employees with an intellectual disability or ASD do not last in high performance workplaces.

Fact: Compared with the average turnover rate of 49% across all industries, employees with an intellectual disability, or ASD is considerably lower at just 7%.

Myth: Employees with an intellectual disability or ASD have high absenteeism.

Fact: 86% of employees with an intellectual disability or ASD rated average or better on attendance than their colleagues.

Myth: High performance employers are too competitive to hire people with an intellectual disability or ASD.

Fact: High performance employers are 37% more likely to hire people with an intellectual disability, because they are good talent matches for open positions.

Myth: Employees with an intellectual disability or ASD are at higher risk of injury or workplace accidents.

Fact: 98% of people with a disability rate average or better in work safety than their non-disabled co-workers.

If you are an employer interested in learning more about RWA, contact Jon Lister, Director of Labour Market Facilitation at 506-453-4400, email jlister@nbacl.nb.ca, or visit the Ready, Willing and Able website at http://readywillingable.ca/.

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