Employing People with Disabilities (PWD)

Photo illustrating different handicaps divided into four squares. First is the international handicap wheelchair symbol, second is an icon of a head with brain, third is of hands with sign language, fourth is of person walking with cane.

Hiring and integrating people with disabilities (PWDs) into the workforce offers many benefits. And in a tight labor market, companies need to do everything possible to attract the best talent. Many companies already know that PWDs comprise a deep talent pool representing more than 10 percent of the U.S. population. And persons with disabilities over age 18 say that they want to “spend much more time” working at a job roughly twice as often as persons without disabilities. Employing and accommodating PWDs also has been shown to increase workforce morale and productivity, and decrease turnover. Employing PWDs can yield great benefits for companies – while also doing right by society.

Yet today, PWDs are significantly under-employed when compared to persons without disabilities. To close the employment gap for PWDs, Georgetown Business for Impact hosts an annual Disability Inclusion Forum in the month of October, coinciding with National Disability Employment Awareness Month. The Forum is designed to educate, challenge, and inspire companies to start or strengthen efforts to hire and retain more PWDs. The Forum features executives from leading companies in this field – such as Walgreens, Ernst & Young, Starbucks, Bank of America and more – as well as nonprofits and government agencies on the frontlines of closing the employment gap for PWDs.

Key Disability Forum discussion topics include:
  • How to build new talent pipelines to include qualified job candidates with disabilities, and make sure existing pipelines are accessible to persons with disabilities.
  • How to navigate self-identification, and what it does and does not mean for recruiting job candidates with disabilities.
  • How to ensure that your company is accessible to PWDs as job candidates and customers.
  • Challenges that you and your peers may have encountered when recruiting/employing PWDs and solutions to those challenges.
  • Disability inclusion as an extension of your company’s values.
  • Helpful resources for businesses employing PWDs.
  • The lived experience of PWDs at multiple professional stages in the job market.

If you are interested in joining, sponsoring, or just learning more about the Disability Forum, please contact Ernest “Chico” Rosemond at Ernest.Rosemond@georgetown.edu.