October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month and we’re thinking about the many ways this often underrepresented population makes an impact.
Over 60 million American adults identify as disabled. That’s more than the populations of our two largest states—Texas and California—combined. But disabled Americans are disproportionately impacted by unemployment despite being a large talent pool.
Because of the technology available today, many people with disabilities are going to work in contact centers. Because of the flexibility of the positions, many of these people have the option to work from home or onsite.
Advancements in technology and other types of workplace modifications have made it possible for differently-abled, yet no less talented, people to thrive in the workforce and provide amazing customer service.
According to the US Census Bureau, people with disabilities comprise America’s largest minority group. These positions offer a critical opportunity to the disabled community.
A once overlooked talent pool
Despite the popular idea that diversity in the workplace is a positive force that boosts a business’s competitive edge, people with disabilities are one segment of the population that hasn’t been fully brought into the fold. Americans with disabilities are impacted by unemployment at far higher rates than the mainstream population. In fact, The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the unemployment rate for people with disabilities in 2020 was 12.6%—nearly 5% higher than the population without disabilities. One of the reasons for not actively recruiting differently-abled staff is the perceived cost of adapting the workplace to the employee’s particular needs.
However, research has shown that the cost of potential workplace accommodations is quickly offset by the data that reveals that these employees are far more loyal and likely to stay with the company long term. For instance, the Job Accommodation Network has researched accommodation costs recommended to client organizations for more than 15 years. They have found that the majority of accommodations are free. When an accommodation costs anything, it’s typically a one-time cost under $500.
Ultimately, modifying the workplace and accommodating people with different needs goes a long way for higher output, less employee turnover, and more effective operations.
Where call centers come in
Studies have shown that qualified people with disabilities can be more loyal and more motivated.
From the perspective of job placement, really any organization should seek out the talent within the disabled community, but call centers are unique in that they offer a win-win situation. Many call centers are already set up in a manner that makes it easier for disabled workers to step in and succeed which makes it that much easier for the business to see results. This is because call centers often utilize solutions such as Vocal Vision, software that works with screen readers to help visually impaired staff navigate a computer without reading content or the use of a mouse. Additionally, because many call centers offer remote work capabilities employees who may have mobility issues or otherwise need to be in their home environment have the autonomy to do so. This makes the work much more accessible, making it much easier for call centers to employ people with disabilities.
LiveVox is proud to be an equal opportunity workplace and an affirmative action employer. We are committed to equal employment opportunity regardless of race, color, ancestry, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, age, citizenship, marital status, ability, gender identity or Veteran status. We consider qualified applicants regardless of criminal histories, consistent with legal requirements.
Currently, 1 in 4 American adults has a disability, making those with disabilities the largest minority in America with a combined annual spending power of $645 billion. But beyond purchasing power, hiring differently-abled people is a tactically savvy business choice. In fact, one landmark study found that a 14% higher retention rate among the employees hired with disabilities over the overall group in the same roles. They also reported a 50% increase in self-disclosures and strengthened workforce diversity. Self-disclosures reflect a positive workplace culture where employees feel comfortable bringing their whole selves to work, which is a sentiment anyone can get behind.
We believe strongly in the value of diverse perspectives and work hard to foster a culture that’s open and inclusive. If you have a special need or require additional accommodations, please let us know. We’re always looking for smart, talented people with diverse backgrounds, interests, and experiences to join our team. Visit our careers page for more information on open positions.