Ford is launching a new pilot program to employ individuals with autism starting June 1st called FordInclusiveWorks. Ford partnered with the Autism Alliance of Michigan to bring to fruition this program that provides much needed opportunities for individuals with autism and allows them to use their unique skill set to contribute in valuable ways. Forward-thinking companies are realizing the social and business benefits that come with integrating workers with disabilities as part of their teams. Here are  5 reasons more businesses should hire workers with disabilities.


  1. Valuable skills: Individuals with disability are competent in diverse ways that extend the capacity of a businesses workforce. Workers with autism for example possess extreme attention to detail, sustained focus and operate well within a structured framework. These qualities can be applied to a variety of tasks much like Ford is doing by incorporating individuals with autism into its Research and Development team.
  2. Loyal and low-turnover: A 2007 study from DePaul University surveyed employers of workers with disabilities and they consistently noted high employee loyalty and low turnover with their employees with disabilities. These are qualities most all corporations value in employees, so workers with disabilities can be a logical fit for many businesses.
  3. Costs are low: There is a misconception in the business world that accommodating workers with disabilities comes at an excessive costs. Despite repeat studies stating that accommodating employees with disabilities came at minimal costs, businesses are slow to adopt these practices and are actually losing money by recruiting and retaining more costly employees.
  4. Social impact: Individuals with disabilities typically find work through agencies that help connect them with businesses. The previously mentioned DePaul University study also stated that businesses experienced difficulties sustaining communications with these agencies during the employment process. This presents an opportunity for businesses to proactively recruit a diverse workforce and fill a much needed gap in providing opportunities for people with disabilities.
  5. It’s good for the bottom line: There’s a reason why companies like PepsiCo, 3M and AT&T have started integrating individuals with disabilities into the workplace. These three mega-efficient corporations have all cited net benefits from employing workers with disabilities. The value added to businesses will help drive social and adopt social change for workers with disabilities on a large scale.