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Disability Action Center NW

A Framework For Disability Inclusion

Business Strategies That Work: A Framework For Disability Inclusion

What’s the third largest market segment in the United States? The answer might surprise you. It’s not
a particular race, gender, or age group.  It’s people with disabilities. The size of this population—54
million strong—surpasses Hispanics, African Americans and Asian Americans, as well as Generation
X and teens. Add in their families, friends, and associates, and you get a trillion dollars in purchasing
Want a slice? Any smart business owner would. As with any customer segment, one of the best ways
to tap into the disability market is to ensure it is represented in your workforce. Employees with
disabilities can help businesses understand and meet the needs of this important and expanding
customer base. What’s more, research shows that consumers both with and without disabilities favor
businesses that employ people with disabilities, and that people with disabilities can provide your
business with the flexible, innovative thinking required for a competitive edge in the 21st century.
Business Strategies that Work identifies promising employment policies and practices for recruiting,
hiring, retaining, and advancing qualified individuals with disabilities. It is a guide for employers
who want to ensure that their workplaces are truly diverse and inclusive. And it is a valuable tool,
with proactive and dynamic human resource strategies, for employers who want to be successful in
today’s diverse and global markets.
The strategies found in this document are used by employers who make a strong business case
for employing people with disabilities. By identifying, adopting, and refining these effective and
meaningful employment practices that welcome people with disabilities, you too can benefit from
having a vibrant, diverse workforce.
These practices are organized into seven action areas:
Lead the Way: Inclusive Business Culture
Hire (and Keep) the Best: Personnel Processes
Ensure Productivity: Reasonable Accommodation Procedures
Build the Pipeline: Outreach and Recruitment
Communicate: External and Internal Communication of Company Policies and Practices
Be Tech Savvy: Accessible Information and Communication Technology
Grow Success: Accountability and Continuous Improvement Systems

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