#77 Five great reasons to Be. an accessible employer

Graphic showing more than 60% of disabled people are unemployed, even though 75% don't need extra support to work.Did you know that around 60% of disabled people are unemployed? Yet, once in work, 75% of people with disabilities don't require any additional support in the workplace.  What's more, there is growing evidence that, when the employment of people with access needs is done well, disabled people can do - and are doing - as well or even better than their non-disabled counterparts!

When organisations make their selection processes more accessible to people with disabilities, they ensure that all candidates with the relevant skills, qualifications and experience are able to apply.

Here are five good reasons why employers ought to tap into this access employment market!

1. Broadening the talent pool

By including candidates with access needs in the recruitment mix, the potential talent pool is instantly broadened. Employing people with varying access requirements leads to a wealth of new skills and innovative perspectives in the workplace.

2. Low or no additional cost

According to the Centre for Social Research and Evaluation [1]:

  • 75% of candidates with access needs require no extra equipment, support or other modifications to work effectively.
  • Of those who do require their access needs to be accommodated, modified hours was the most commonly reported request.
  • Relatively few jobseekers need extra support such as equipment, building modifications, a job coach, personal assistance or communication services to accommodate their needs.

3. A great value proposition

International research shows that candidates with the experience of disability:

  • often have excellent problem solving skills,
  • take the same or fewer number of days off,
  • often remain loyal to employers for very long periods,
  • often have a high tolerance of uncertainty, and
  • cost a similar amount to employ.

4. A true reflection of the market

Employing access citizens enables a business to become more attuned to the needs of the wider access community and so increases the potential to reach a wider market.

  • One in five people have access needs.
  • Along with their families and community networks, that makes up one of the largest growing customer groups in the world.

5. Improved reputation and increased profits

Research shows that diversity in the workforce contributes positively to organisation’s overall reputation and profitability [2].

Being known as an accessible employer makes good business sense when it comes back to representing your true customer base and will result in better commercial outcomes. Customers with disabilities make up a significant portion of the market.

Having employees with disability can help you to understand what your customers or clients with disabilities may need, which can give you an edge over your competitors. A workforce that reflects the diversity of the wider community, your customers and shareholders can lead to greater customer loyalty and satisfaction. 

Be. Accessible has created Be. Employed, a membership-based programme dedicated to helping employers tap into the wealth of opportunity in the access employment market.

Are you an Employer? Join Be. Employed today – for more information, visit the Be. Accessible website.


[1] Centre for Social Research and Evaluation, June 2005, Disability and work participation in New Zealand: Outcomes relating to paid employment and benefit receipt

[2] Supplier Diversity in the GTA: Business Case and Best Practices

Investing to keep disabled people in work brings long term benefits