Employment Disability Inclusion

Woman on a wheelchair holding a tablet.

Gain your Next Great Employee and a Competitive Advantage

An inclusive workforce gives you a competitive advantage, and Northwest Center can help. With a history of inclusion going back to 1965, we employ our own inclusive workforce, place employees with disabilities at some of the most successful companies in the U.S., and can work with you to create a workplace where all employees, with and without disabilities, can do their best work.

Northwest Center crew at work at the Ballard (Hiram M. Chittenden) Locks in Seattle, April 20, 2023. (Photo by Dan DeLong for Northwest Center)

Proven Experience Building an Inclusive Workplace

If you’re interested in developing a workforce that includes people with disabilities, Northwest Center Employment Services has the proven experience and approach to make it a success. We provide employers with expertise in:

We get to know your business, building a long-term, mutually beneficial relationship so we can find you the most qualified employees. We’ll help you implement creative solutions to make positions available to a wider array of candidates, and can work with you to help meet ongoing employment needs.

Job coaching is available for some employees we place with you. Our job coaches collaborate with both employee and supervisors to set workplace goals and expectations, reinforce workplace training, and help you create a seamless support system to ensure employee success.

Create a Disability-Inclusive and Anti-Ableist Workplace

Get the solutions and support you need to remove barriers to accessibility from your workplace. Northwest Center’s Employment Transformation Collective (ETC) works with businesses to create solutions so that all employees, with and without disabilities, can do their best work. ETC services include:

Accessibility Partners Service

We provide accessibility solutions for blind and low-vision employees to remove digital and physical barriers and make meetings, data, and documents more accessible.

Training & Consulting Services

We work with businesses to develop cultures of inclusion, training managers and executives to create accommodating and accessible workplaces.

Customized Option

We work with disabled employees and their employers to customize workplace solutions and support.

Work with Our Businesses and Support Inclusion

Your business can also help drive social change through inclusion at work, school, and in the community while receiving exceptional business services from one of Northwest Center’s Social Enterprises. You’ll not only receive expert services in managed staffing, janitorial, commercial laundry, printing, clothing donation, or short-haul trucking, sorting, and cross-dock logistics, but you’ll also make a difference:

  • Job seekers with disabilities gain more employment opportunities to match their skills and interests.
  • You make a positive social impact by supporting services for people with disabilities.

Disability is Fundamental to Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

Make disability inclusion part of your workplace and make a strategic investment in the success of your employees and operation. Twenty-five percent of job seekers and current employees are people with disabilities, and disability intersects oppressed identities such as Black, Indigenous, People of Color, or Transgender people. It’s simply good business to unlock that potential.

While disability is too often forgotten in DEI initiatives, there is evidence that’s beginning to change. We welcome a shift from the term “DEI” to “DEIA” (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility) at businesses that include the federal government.

Be part of the change. Talk to us about integrating disability inclusion into your workplace.

Better for Everyone: The Benefits of Workplace Disability Inclusion

In our own inclusive workplace, Northwest Center sees the benefits of improved morale, customer satisfaction, and employee retention. We’re not alone—companies nationwide who employ people with disabilities report improvements in retention, productivity, and quality of work.

  • 37% Better Quality

    Employees that Northwest Center placed at Amazon achieved work quality 37% higher than the general population, a perfect safety record, and better attendance.

    -The Seattle Times
  • 75% Good/Very Good Performance

    More than three-quarters of employers surveyed by the Institute for Corporate Productivity rate employees with intellectual or developmental disabilities as “good” to “very good” on most performance factors.

    -Institute for Corporate Productivity [PDF]
  • 20% Higher Productivity

    A Walgreens warehouse employing 50% people with disabilities boosted productivity 20%.

    -Walgreens Diversity & Inclusion Report [PDF]
  • 28% More Revenue

    Leading companies that actively seek to hire people with disabilities report 28% higher revenue, higher net incomes, and higher shareholder returns.

    -Accenture [PDF]

Research on the Business​ Benefits of Disability Inclusion

  • Disability as a Source of Competitive Advantage cover

    Harvard Business Review: Disability as a Source of Competitive Advantage

  • Getting to Equal: The Disability Inclusion Advantage cover.

    Accenture: Getting to Equal: The Disability Inclusion Advantage

  • Diversity Matters Cover

    McKinsey & Company: Why Diversity Matters

  • Walgreens: A Proud Legacy, A Promising Future: Diversity, Inclusion and Engagement cover

    Walgreens: A Proud Legacy, A Promising Future: Diversity, Inclusion and Engagement

  • 2017 Kessler Foundation National Employment & Disability Survey: 2017 Executive Summary Cover

    Kessler Foundation 2017 National Employment and Disability Survey: Supervisor Perspectives

  • PwC: Annual Corporate Directors Survey 2018 Cover

    PwC: Annual Corporate Directors Survey 2018

  • Employing People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Cover

    Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp): Employing People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities