NOD Challenges CEOs to Hire People With Disabilities

Carol Glazer, president of the National Organization on Disability (NOD), recently issued a challenge to Fortune 500 CEOs: Hire more people with disabilities in 2013.

"This year, I'm challenging our Fortune 500 CEOs to resolve to hire more people with disabilities. It's a commitment to the diversity in our country," Glazer said. "But more importantly to your CFO, it will boost your bottom line."

According to a NOD/Kessler Foundation survey of Americans with disabilities, approximately 80 percent of people with disabilities are not employed.

"A diverse workforce is a strong workforce. And the disability market, which includes customers with disabilities and their spheres of influence, represents $1 trillion in disposable income worldwide," said Meg O'Connell, NOD's vice president of corporate programs. "In this country specifically, people with disabilities control $247 billion in disposable income and represent a consumer population equal to the size of the U.S. Hispanic market. People with disabilities are an untapped talent resource, and one that businesses should prioritize in 2013."

Glazer outlined how CEOs can help human resources get started:

  • Check corporate materials including the Web site, career pages and recruiting materials to ensure they include disability as a diversity group.
  • Engage recruiters to reach out to disability organizations to source talent.
  • Set hiring targets for persons with disabilities.