Americans with disabilities may be the best workers no one’s hiring

Americans with disabilities may be the best workers no one’s hiring

Walgreens actually prefers disabled employees because they’re more efficient workers, explains a new report
BY THE MONITOR’S EDITORIAL BOARD

Walgreens and now a report by the National Governors Association show businesses can benefit by seeing disabled workers not as charity cases but employees with uncommon qualities that can enhance profits.

Few people noticed, but last week marked the 23rd anniversary of the 1990 passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act. That landmark law is best known for mandating such conveniences as designated parking for people with disabilities, wheelchair ramps, and Braille on elevators. A whole generation has now benefited from it. But one thing has not changed very much for America’s 54 million disabled people: landing a job.

That may change with a report last week by the National Governors Association. It is called “A Better Bottom Line: Employing People with Disabilities.” Note the words “bottom line.” The report aims to help states support a trend in American business led by Walgreens. Since 2007, the drugstore chain has hired those with disabilities not out of magnanimous charity but for the competitive advantage in employing disabled workers.

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