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Communications of the ACM

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A New Labor Market for People with 'Coolabilities'


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Many people with disabilities have enhanced strengths, such as the special ability of blind people to interpret sounds and touch, or the outstanding knack of people on the autism spectrum to observe detail. Not so well known is the potential of this large and untapped resource of excellence for the economy and society. We call these enhanced strengths "coolabilities."

Powerful technologies are today ready to open the door to a new paradigm of work: instead of squeezing people into existing job slots, companies can tailor work that fits individuals' unique skills, talents, and passions, matching them with inspiring teams and offering them a choice of meaningful tasks. This has tremendous benefits for both the employee and employer by creating a "long-tail labor market" in which diversity brings competitive advantage.


 

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