Having a diverse workplace includes having workers with intellectual disabilities. Diversity is about bringing together a diversity of ways of thinking and perspectives, which includes the often-overlooked category of workers with disabilities. While having a more inclusive and welcoming workplace is always a goal of a company looking to have a great culture, there are benefits to the employer that go beyond inclusivity. Workers with an intellectual disability may often be overlooked because their verbal and non-verbal communication may not match what is defined as the societal norm, but that is not always indicative of their ability to be a top performer within a particular role. Let’s look through a couple of examples of companies that were able to thrive when hiring workers with disabilities.
Ford Motor Company
The Autism Alliance of Michigan has worked with Ford on their FordInclusiveWorks initiative to hire people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) at its Dearborn, Michigan, headquarters. The program started out small but has since grown and now includes full-time positions for candidates that they have found to be exemplary. The program has been considered a great success and supervisors within Ford have said that the workers that have come in through the program have an energy that has spread to other employees.
Microsoft now has over 50 full-time employees that have come onboard through their Autism Hiring Program. The employees work in a variety of fields within the company including roles in content writing, data science and computer engineering.
JP Morgan Chase
Hiring top talent in tech can be a challenge, and Chase has found that hiring workers with autism is helping them win that race. By looking at the skills the candidate brings to the table regardless of their neurological makeup they have been able to bring in a new untapped pool of talent. Chase has discovered that this workforce allows their company to get the benefits of workers who are highly detail-oriented, rule-bound and logical.
Additionally, multiple surveys have measured the impact of hiring workers with intellectual disabilities. The surveys showed that the employees rated high on performance reviews and had better rates of retention and absenteeism when compared to other workers. Employers also had positive experiences and the employees were listed as being highly dependable and motivated.