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How to Make Your Marketing Efforts Disability-Inclusive

By: Andrew Deen


How to Make Your Marketing Efforts Disability Inclusive

Businesses worldwide are in a perpetual struggle to find the best talent possible. Adjacent to this issue is the problem that nearly all job hunters with disabilities face: employers won’t see past their disability.

In addition to being unethical, discriminating hiring practices are also just bad business.

Surveys show that companies that do not discriminate against people with disabilities in their hiring practices report revenue of up to 26% higher.

Individuals with disabilities can be just as qualified as any other candidate. This article explores how proper marketing can help employers attract the most qualified and skilled candidates regardless of whether or not they have a disability.

Diversity and Inclusion Matter to Today’s Millennial and Gen Z Workforce

Millennials and Gen Z that are currently entering the workforce express a keen interest in making the world a better place. A mainstream priority now is not just to curb unethical corporate practices, but also to do an active good by diversifying the workplace.

On the part of the employer, it is pragmatic to appeal to this group’s desire to make the world a better place. As companies find themselves in increasing need for new, young talent, two things are abundantly clear: inclusive hiring practices far expand the candidate pool, and they also satisfy the ethical concerns of the 68% of millennials that prioritize doing good in the world.

Not only do ethical business practices attract good candidates, but they are also looked upon kindly by the consumer. Roughly half of the surveyed millennials have stated that a company’s history can determine whether or not they give them their business.

Many millennials and members of Generation Z have a sense of distrust around large corporate entities, but these concerns could be mitigated by thoughtful, inclusive hiring practices.

Diversity in the Digital Domain

As the world moves increasingly towards the domain of the digital, it becomes ever more apparent that digital diversity and representation is very important.

Apple has made a small, but potentially impactful move towards making the digital world a little bit more disability-friendly.

The major tech company recently made strides to help the disabled community better express themselves by diversifying the “keyboard.” The popular Apple emoji market now features a slate of new designs all geared towards people with disabilities.

New emojis include people in wheelchairs, people with hearing aids, seeing-eye dogs, and much more.

This isn’t the first time that the company has made a deliberate effort to be more inclusive. Their emoji slate has evolved many times over the years to include a wide range of race and gender combinations that allow more people to express themselves.

While new emojis do not necessarily have an earth-changing impact for the disabled community it is a move that has the potential to do good both for the consumer, and the company.

For the consumer, there are now new ways to communicate online that feature as much diversity as presently possible.

For Apple, the new set of emojis serves as a statement of intent, demonstrating to the discerning social-minded consumer, or even job candidate that the company is doing what they can to make a difference.

Other employers may find it prudent to make similar moves. While not everyone can launch new apps that send a message to the entire planet that they are diversity-friendly, they can make a point of ensuring that their attitude of inclusivity is well-known and transparent.

Ensuring Workplace Inclusiveness

As of the last United States Census, there are over forty million Americans that have been diagnosed with a disability. Unfortunately, only 17% of these people are employed.

Statistics also indicate that it is harder for minorities with disabilities to find work. For example, only 9% of Caucasian job candidates were unemployed compared to 16% in the African American community.

However, the outlook is not entirely bleak. Major employers such as AT&T have made a stated commitment to not discriminate during the hiring process.

State agencies have also stepped up to the plate with vocational rehab programs. Ohio, for example, has a robust program designed for helping people with disabilities find work. The Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD) agency provides job training and placement services that are helping many find work.

With care and consideration, it is possible to solve the ongoing unemployment crisis in the people with disability community.

Published: August 13, 2019

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Andrew Deen

Andrew Deen has been a consultant for startups in almost every industry from retail to medical devices and everything in between. He implements lean methodology and is currently writing a book about scaling up business. Twitter @AndrewDeen14.

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