At 20 percent of the population, people with disabilities are America’s largest minority group.
“They carry a second distinction of being America’s most invisible population,” says Wayne McMillan, president and CEO of Bobby Dodd Institute (BDI), an Atlanta-based nonprofit providing career services and job training for the disabled. “Instead of an uproar,” he says, “their chronic underemployment is a largely unspoken issue.”
BDI’s recent national survey, Disability in Our Daily Lives, gauged the perception of people with disabilities in the American workplace. The results show that 86 percent of survey respondents felt people with disabilities face hiring limitations. Among numerous barriers facing this population, respondents cited cost of accommodating (54 percent), lack of knowledge about accommodations (53 percent), and insufficient knowledge of people with disabilities (49 percent) among reasons why employers are reluctant to hire from the disability talent pool.