Reviews of workforce statistics reveal people with disabilities account for only 4.9% of the Canadian working population (Statistics Canada, 2011). Given the amount of research supporting the benefits of employing people with disabilities, the percentage of disabled individuals currently in Canada’s workforce seem disproportional to the benefits they bring to organizations. Hence, this paper intends to create a set of disability practices to assist organizations in integrating people with disabilities in the workplace. The scope of the paper is to study long-term disabilities as a broad issue without distinguishing between any types of disabilities as the objective is to design a comprehensive program that enhances the participation of permanently disabled people in the workforce. To gain insight into the arguments for and against employing people with disabilities, along with some current practices to integrating people with disabilities in the workforce, this paper examines and references external resources from business databases. Additionally, IBM’s proactive disability practices are analyzed to further serve as a basis for recommendations. Despite the perception that accommodating people with disabilities in the workplace is costly, the benefits far outweigh the costs. Benefits of hiring people with disabilities include encouraging critical thinking, introducing new ideas, and creating a committed and loyal workforce. These benefits in turn can be used to enhance the corporate image of an organization. For non-accepting cultures, the organizations can create a training program to educate existing employees about the benefits of integrating disabled employees in the workforce. Once a disability-embracing culture is embedded in the organization, the organization can take proactive approaches such as attend workshops to hire people with disabilities, create partnerships with high schools and colleges to transition people with disabilities into the workforce, assess jobs to determine the accommodations needed for each individual employee with disabilities, and design jobs to permit special leaves and enhance schedule flexibility.
table of contents
Arguments for and against Employing People with Disabilities3
Current Practices and Practical Solutions5
IBM’S DISABILITY APPROACH7
Companies with a Non-Accepting Culture8
Companies with an Accepting Culture9
The Oxford dictionary (2010) defines a person with disabilities as “someone who has a physical or mental condition that limits his movements, senses or activities”. A quick interpretation of this definition could lead to the generalization that people with disabilities would have difficulty attaining a job and performing it well. However, the individuals with one or more disabilities in Canada account for 14.3% of the general population (Statistics Canada, 2006). In addition, 53.5% of the Canadian population with disabilities had a job, whereas the employment rate for people without disabilities reached 75.0% in 2006 (Statistics Canada, 2006). Given the disparity in employment rates between people with disabilities and people without disabilities, there exists a growing need for workplace practices that not only promote, but also accommodate the integration of people with disabilities.
The primary disabilities considered in this paper include those related to the following: attention, vision, hearing, learning, speaking, medical, physical, and psychiatric (Johns Hopkins University, n.d.). The intent of the paper is to study long-term disabilities as a broad issue without distinguishing between any types of disabilities as the objective is to design a program to enhance the participation of permanently disabled people in the workforce.
To implement a disability program in the workplace, findings...