Telecommuting as a Workplace Benefit Scores High among Workers with Disabilities in New Survey

Telecommuting as a Workplace Benefit Scores High among Workers with Disabilities in New Survey Telecommuting as a Workplace Benefit Scores High among Workers with Disabilities in New Survey

Eight out of 10 workers with disabilities prefer the option to telecommute to other sought-after perks; paid time off tops list

CHICAGO (PRBuzz.com) May 7, 2013 -- Workers with disabilities say telecommuting is a key workplace benefit, with eight out of 10 (81.1%) saying they would like the option to telecommute at least part time, according to a national survey released by Think Beyond the Label, a private-public collaborative that helps businesses and the public workforce system connect to job seekers with disabilities.

Telecommuting was the second-ranked workplace benefit (39.3%) in the national survey released today, surpassing flexible spending programs, which help pay for costs such as healthcare and commuting (14.2%), onsite fitness centers and services (2.0%) and free or subsidized meals (0.8%) as the most wanted employee perk, just behind paid time off (42.5%), such as for maternity leave. 

More than a perk
Less than one-third (28.7%) of respondents say their employer currently offers telecommuting, though more than half (67.1%) say they would work for a company even if it did not offer telecommuting at least part time. Still, telecommuting can be more than a perk for some people with disabilities. Of respondents who say they telecommute:

- More than one-third (37.1%) telecommute because their employer lets them
- One in five (20%) telecommute because their office is located far away from where they live
- 17.1% telecommute to accommodate a disability
- 4.3% telecommute because of inadequate public or private transportation options

"People with disabilities, like anyone else, look for jobs that offer strong workplace benefits such as telecommuting," says Barbara Otto, CEO of Health & Disability Advocates, the Chicago-based policy and advocacy organization that operates Think Beyond the Label. "This survey underscores the need for more employers to offer telecommuting as a way to cast a wider net for talent and open up more full-time employment opportunities to all workers, regardless of a disability."

Otto cites Fortune's 100 Best Companies to Work For in 2013, where eight of the top 10 companies offer telecommuting options, and DiversityInc's Top 10 Companies for People with Disabilities, where flexible work options are a criterion for the award.

Productivity enhancement
Most workers with disabilities (73.5%) say they believe telecommuting makes them more efficient in their jobs, and the majority (70.6%) says they do not require accessible or assistive technologies to perform their jobs remotely. For those who do require technologies (29.4%), the majority of the solutions cost less than $500:

• Nearly half (48.6%) use a keyboard or mouse solution
• Four out of 10 (40%) use accessible tablets and smart phones
• About one-third (34.3%) use communications tools such as dictation software or speech-to-text programs
• Nearly one in four (24.3%) use adjustable-height desks
• About one in five (21.4%) use a screen reader

Think Beyond the Label 2013 Online Career Fair Series
To help employers recruit more qualified workers with disabilities, Think Beyond the Label is partnering with Brazen Careerist on a series of online career fairs. Past and upcoming participating employers include AT&T, Boeing, NextEra Energy, Pearson, The Hartford, Union Pacific, United Health Group, University of North Carolina, the University of Southern California and more. 

DATES: May 21, July 30 and Oct. 22, 2013
TIMES: 1.00 pm - 4.00 pm Eastern Time
SIGN UP: Online registration is available now

About the Survey 
This survey was commissioned by Think Beyond the Label and conducted April 15 to April 26, 2013. This online survey reflects a sampling of more than 200 respondents who are employed or seeking work; the majority (93.2%) self-identified as a person with a disability. Approximately two-thirds of survey participants (65.3%) have a bachelor's degree or higher, and the majority (85.8%) of respondents hold six or more years of job experience.

About Think Beyond the Label
Think Beyond the Label is a private-public collaborative that helps businesses and the public workforce system more effectively recruit, hire and retain job seekers with disabilities across 50 states. Think Beyond the Label connects the entire range of job seekers with disabilities to employers looking to hire through its virtual career fairs, online jobs portal, social platforms and community profiles. Our partnership spans state health and human service and employment agencies; businesses; and Health & Disability Advocates, a national private nonprofit organization that manages the Think Beyond the Label partnership. For more information, please go to www.thinkbeyondthelabel.com

INFOGRAPHICS
We invite you to use these infographics at http://bit.ly/10guMBr, which help visualize the results of the survey conducted by Think Beyond the Label. 

*Margin of error plus or minus six percent. 

MEDIA CONTACTS
Megan McDonnell
abledbody & co. 
203.249.3438
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Laura Wilhelm
Think Beyond the Label
312.265.9104
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