October marks the 75th annual National Disability Awareness Employment Month, part of a Labor Department’s effort to spread awareness about the employment struggles those with disabilities often face in the workplace. This year also coincides with the 30th anniversary of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which made it illegal for employers to discriminate against those with a disability.
Jill Houghton, the president and CEO of the nonprofit advocacy group Disability:IN told ABC News that her organization grew out of the ADA, “because one thing that the congressmen and women knew when they passed that piece of legislation was that the ADA couldn’t legislate attitudes.”
“People with disabilities, we are one in four Americans,” she said. “When you include all people, are inclusive of people with disabilities, you’re going to have innovation, you’re going to have better products, better services.”
She also discredited the nefarious thought that hiring people with a disability is somehow a “charity,” saying that the data shows it is actually “good business.”
Houghton also cited the recent report they worked on with Accenture, which found that it “pays to be inclusive,” and that companies that prioritize disability inclusion on average see nearly 30% higher revenue compared to their industry peers.
“We’ve really worked hard to promote that information and get it in the hands of not only companies, but also get it in the hands of investors,” she said.