Businesses Advised of Untapped Market in People With Disabilities Inclusive hiring practices and involving people with disabilities in product development and advertisement can help businesses access a market worth billions of dollars, says a recent report from the American Institutes for Research (AIR). “Businesses benefit from hiring people with disabilities because they provide unique abilities to enhance labor force ... News in Brief
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News in Brief  |   July 01, 2018
Businesses Advised of Untapped Market in People With Disabilities
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Practice Management / Professional Issues & Training / News in Brief
News in Brief   |   July 01, 2018
Businesses Advised of Untapped Market in People With Disabilities
The ASHA Leader, July 2018, Vol. 23, 10. doi:10.1044/leader.NIB5.23072018.10
The ASHA Leader, July 2018, Vol. 23, 10. doi:10.1044/leader.NIB5.23072018.10
Inclusive hiring practices and involving people with disabilities in product development and advertisement can help businesses access a market worth billions of dollars, says a recent report from the American Institutes for Research (AIR).
“Businesses benefit from hiring people with disabilities because they provide unique abilities to enhance labor force diversity, improve productivity, and inspire innovation,” states the introduction to “An Undervalued Market: The Purchasing Power of People With Disabilities.” The introduction adds that “people with disabilities represent a large consumer market for high-quality services and products.”
AIR mined data from the American Community Survey to determine the disposable and discretionary income of people with disabilities, aggregated by state and disability type. The report found that:
  • Average disposable income (income after taxes) for a person with a disability is approximately $23,300 (35 percent less than for people without disabilities).

  • Among people with disabilities who have discretionary income (income after taxes and mandatory living expenses), the mean income before taxes was $121,112; after taxes, it was $86,954 (9 percent less than their nondisabled counterparts).

  • States with the highest percentage of people with disabilities who have discretionary income are Wyoming, Alaska, D.C., Maryland and Hawaii; those with the lowest percentage are Mississippi, West Virginia, Kentucky, Maine and Arkansas.

The report draws three implications for businesses:
  • Businesses are not taking advantage of the nearly half a trillion dollars in market value of people with disabilities.

  • Society is shifting toward growing numbers and greater inclusion of people with disabilities, and businesses that want to increase sales and positive brand recognition will cater to this growing market.

  • Given the friends, family members, caregivers, colleagues and others connected to consumers with disabilities, the market potential of this group is even greater than the report’s findings.

“The challenges that exist for consumers with disabilities have become opportunities for businesses to serve them,” the report concludes.
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July 2018
Volume 23, Issue 7