Business Case

What are businesses saying about the value of employees with disabilities?

One of the biggest challenges businesses face is the shortage of talented and skilled employees.  Individuals with disabilities represent a large untapped workforce for employers.  Discover the business case for hiring talented and skilled people with disabilities and how this hiring practice can drive your organization’s success.​


According to the 2005-2007 American Community Survey (ACS), over one in ten (10.4 percent) Marylanders of working age (18 to 64) reported having one or more disabilities. The number of individuals with disabilities in Maryland and nationally is rising. The baby boomer population is aging. In addition, 13.9% of 18-34 year olds enrolled in college and/or graduate school report the presence of a disability (2006 ACS). We all have a personal stake in this community; it is open to anyone who might experience an accident, illness, genetic difference or the effects of aging.

People with disabilities represent the single largest minority group seeking employment in today's marketplace. The unemployment rate of people with disabilities is ten times greater than the national unemployment rate, yet many of them have the skills that your business values.  Further, according to the U.S. Department of Education, workers with disabilities are consistently rated as average or above average in performance, quality and quantity of work, flexibility, and attendance.

Employees with disabilities also represent a tremendous customer base; one billion people globally report having a disability, and people with disabilities in the U.S. control an aggregate annual income of more than $1 trillion. Including individuals with disabilities in your workforce can give your organization an inside advantage in marketing and outreach to this large consumer base. 

The Business Case: Talent to Drive Your Business’ Success

EarnWorks, a service of the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy, has developed The Business Case: Talent to Drive Your Business’ Success. The Business Case showcases the following six areas of benefit to employers who are inclusive in their hiring process:

Click here to view the brochure on: 
The Business Case- Hiring Individuals with Disabilities (PDF)
The Business Case- Hiring Individuals with Disabilities (Word)

Best Practices

​In Maryland


  • Through intentionally incorporating universal design concepts when engineering new machines, systems, and processes, Walgreens has created employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities, which make their company more efficient.

Resources to Support the Business Case


  • Eastern Shore Business Leadership Network (ESBLN) 
    The ESBLN highlights several success stories of em​​ployees and employers on the Eastern Shore, including businesses in manufacturing, customer service and distribution.

  • Maryland State Department of Education, Division of Rehabilitation Services (DORS)  
    DORS helps Maryland businesses recruit and retain qualified individuals with disabilities through matching qualified applicants with job openings, funding for on-the-job training, providing worksite consultations, identifying technology that increases workplace productivity and success, coordinating services for workplace disability issues, and providing employment consultations. Connect to several employee-employers successes.  


  • Disability Funders Network (DFN) 
    DFN highlights several disability-related statistics and facts regarding the employment, education and training of individuals with disabilities.
  • Walgreens 
    Through intentionally incorporating universal design concepts when engineering new machines, systems, and processes, Walgreens has created employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities that make their company more efficient.​