01 Feb 2010

Recently, computerworld.com featured a Q&A with Neil Jacobson, founder and CEO of Abilicorp about how people with disabilities are well-suited for IT careers. In the article, Jacobson explains why people with disabilities are reliable and dependable employees:

“Many of us who have significant physical disabilities have to be creative and persistent for our own survival. Because we are often not able to do things the ‘normal’ way, we are literally forced to be creative and perform tasks however we can, and we carry that creativity into problem-solving in the workplace. We have to be persistent and know there’s always a way to accomplish a task.”

Jacobson continues this line of thought by explaining that people with disabilities also make good managers, because we are skilled at navigating the complexities of daily life and communicating our needs to others.

It’s an intriguing concept, especially in light of today’s economic climate. With Indiana’s unemployment rate at 9.9 percent, and our national jobless rate at 9.7 percent, I don’t doubt that people with disabilities are out of work right now. Yet, people with disabilities are prepared to enter the workforce and contribute to our economy. The National Organization on Disabilities estimates that people with disabilities are better educated than ever, and are local, dedicated employees. Neil Jacobson – who worked for the same company for 29 years before launching his firm – has firsthand experience, helping place people with disabilities in good paying jobs.

As a person with a disability, I hope employers take a second look at people with disabilities when making hiring decisions. The diverse culture of our nation – and our world – has opened up emerging markets that many of us never thought possible. Understanding diversity has a significant impact on our collective potential for economic success. In these tough economic times, a diverse employee base – including people with disabilities – can simply help boost a company’s bottom line.

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