Article Details

Research Database: Article Details

Citation:  Copeland, J., Chan, F., Bezyak, J., and Fraser, R.T. (2010). Assessing cognitive and affective reactions of employers towards people with disabilities in the workplace. Journal of Occupational Rehabiliation, 20 427-434.
Title:  Assessing cognitive and affective reactions of employers towards people with disabilities in the workplace
Authors:  Copeland, J., Chan, F., Bezyak, J., and Fraser, R.T.
Year:  2010
Journal/Publication:  Journal of Occupational Rehabiliation
Publisher:  Springer Science + Business Media LLC
Full text:   
Peer-reviewed?  Yes
NIDILRR-funded?  Not reported
Research design:  Survey research

Structured abstract:

Background:  Adults with disabilities are grossly unemployed as compared to individuals without disabilities. When considering ways to combat this problem and number of factors need to be considered. These include: employer attitudes and physical barriers, loss of benefits, lack of transportation and limited access to employment services. This is true, despite the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act . Research indicates while employers have positive attitudes about workers with disabilities, they also hold some negative attitudes.
Purpose:  This study was intended to "determine the dimensionality of the Affective Reactions scale" and determine what causes employer attitudes.
Setting:  Mike Employers in Colorado Springs, Colorado
Study sample:  The researchers sent surveys out to 827 businesses, and received 142 for analysis. The majority (66.9%) were completed by women and the remainder (33.1%) by men. About half (49%) were employed in businesses with less than 100 employees. Most (46%) had more than 5 years experience and the majority (87%) reported having experience with workers with disabilities.
Intervention:  Mike
Data collection and analysis:  The Disability Questionnaire was used to measure employers' attitudes related to employing individuals with disabilities. The Disability Questionnaire, is made up of 88 items and 3 subscales to assess what someone is a disability, affective reactions towards working with individuals with disabilities and beliefs about reasonable accommodation. Exploratory factor analysis was used to look at negative perceptions, willingness to accommodate and equal treatment. Multiple regression analysis was calculated using the attitudinal factors as predictors of ADA knowledge, beliefs about reasonable accommodation and level of experience working with employees with disabilities.
Findings:  A lot of experience with workers with disabilities leads to favorable employer attitudes. It also influences their feelings about the productivity of workers with disabilities. Both of these factors also influences positive feelings about reasonable accommodation. Women have better ADA knowledge than men.
Conclusions:  Efforts to change negative attitudes towards employees with disabilities should be undertaken. This might include education and information about benefits of hiring and the ADA with details about accommodations may positively impact attitudes. More exposure to people with disabilities in the workplace may also positively impact attitudes.

Populations served:  Other
Outcomes:  Other