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Helping People become Independent

Hiring People with Disabilities is Doing Good Business

By Rae van Seenus on Jun 05, 2020 at 11:24 AM in UCP WORK, Inc. Blog

Top 10 Benefits to Employing Individuals with Disabilities in Santa Barbara County Workforce

In the United States alone, 42.5 million people have at least one form of disability. That means that people with disabilities make up the largest minority nationwide.  So then why are they also the most untapped labor market?  Perhaps it’s because of the misconceptions about people with disabilities that have made employers reluctant to hire them.  It’s also due to increased barriers that once a person has transitioned out of youth services, such as special education, there are very few vocational training services available, in some cities, to bridge the gap between high school and the start of a meaningful career.  The majority of people with intellectual or developmental disabilities remain either unemployed or underemployed despite their ability, desire, and willingness to work. 

Cullen Works in the Warehouse at Pacific Resources International

People with disabilities can be employed in the community and work alongside people without disabilities and earn competitive wages.  Although it’s true that employees with disabilities may need some accomodations in the workplace, they don’t have to be expensive or time-consuming.  

The Benefits of Hiring Adults with Disabilities

  1. The benefits go beyond providing jobs for people with disabilities; they impact business goals and culture.   

  2. Hiring people with disabilities creates a more inclusive workplace, allows for multiple perspectives, and creates an atmosphere of goodwill, all of which attracts desirable talent, pools, improves customer satisfaction and builds loyalty.

  3. People with disabilities bring a wide variety of skills, helps to change perceptions, and improve communication between and across cultures.

  4. The average length of employment by a UCP WORK, Inc. employee is 15 years.

  5. 98.7% of UCP WORK, Inc. employees retain employment for a minimum of 6 months or longer.

  6. Workers with disabilities exceed their counterparts with no disabilities in the areas of job performance, attendance, and commitment to safety.  They are often seen as the “ideal employee”.

  7. Employees with disabilities tend to stay in positions longer than people without disabilities. According to a U.S. Chamber of Commerce study, workers with disabilities had an 80 percent lower turnover rate than those without.

  8. 92% of Americans look more favorably on businesses that hire people with disabilities than those that do not and 87% said they would prefer to give their business to companies that hire people with disabilities.

  9. Businesses can receive tax incentives for hiring individuals with disabilities; Eligible for Work Opportunity Tax Credit.

  10. Employment for individuals with disabilities is a key part of living a meaningful and inclusive life, and provides opportunities for advancement and equality in earning a competitive wage. 

Luis Works at Ralph's Santa Barbara

If your business wants to create a truly inclusive, welcoming and disability-friendly work environment, organizations like UCP WORK, Inc. are here to help. UCP WORK, Inc. has been recognized as the leading provider of personalized job development and job placement services in Santa Barbara County and increases opportunities for people with disabilities by enabling them to become active, productive members of the local workforce.  

“It’s a win win," says Judy Linares, Executive Director for UCP WORK Inc.  “Businesses that have hired people with disabilities, can attest to the positive impact on their business.  When they employ a person with disabilities who has completed the preparation for the workplace and has the support of a Job Coach, the results are long-term, dedicated employees.”  


Additional benefits for employers hiring people with disaibilites, Linares describes are, customers appreciate and buy from businesses with inclusive hiring practices

UCP WORK, Inc. Employment Services help to train and integrate individuals with disabilities into the workforce through assessment, job development, and job placement services.  Work duties by a Partner Employer can include anything from clerical and customer service, to stocking and janitorial. 

Hiring People with Disabilities is Doing Good Business

Related article about a person served through UCP WORK, Inc. Employment Services that works three jobs in the community. 

How to Get Started

  • Email UCP WORK, Inc's Director of Program Services, at [email protected] or call 805.566.9000 to discuss the type of positions you have available at your workplace.

  • Our Employment Specialist will then contact you to set-up an initial interview and discuss your company’s needs.

  • We will match a skilled and qualified individual with the job you are looking to fill.

  • Both the individual and Job Coach will then meet with you at the worksite to review job duties, work attire, safety, and other employee requirements. 

Sara Works at Independent Living Resource Center

Become a Partner Employer with Us!  

All types of businesses can partner with us to build an inclusive workplace!  Contact Kevin Smith, Director of Program Services, at [email protected] or call our office today at 805.566.9000.

Find a full list of Santa Barbara County businesses that UCP WORK, Inc. currently partners with for disability-inclusive Employment Services, at our Partner Employers page.

*List of References: The Annual Disability Statistics Compendium ( 

Employment, Training, and Wages via The Arc, promoting and protecting the human rights of peole with intellectual and developmental disabilities. 

[email protected] Framework for Building a Disability-Inclusive Organization via the Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion (EARN).