Article Details

Research Database: Article Details

Citation:  Chan, F., Strauser, D., Maher, P., Lee, E., Jones, R. and Johnson, E.T. (2010). Demand-side factors related to employment of people with disabilities: A survey of employers in the midwest region of the United States. Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation, 20 412-419.
Title:  Demand-side factors related to employment of people with disabilities: A survey of employers in the midwest region of the United States
Authors:  Chan, F., Strauser, D., Maher, P., Lee, E., Jones, R. and Johnson, E.T.
Year:  2010
Journal/Publication:  Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation
Publisher:  Springer Science + Business Media LLC
Full text:   
Peer-reviewed?  Yes
NIDILRR-funded?  No
Research design:  Survey research

Structured abstract:

Background:  Demand side employment models focus on the employer and work environment. Vocational rehabilitation practices focus on the supply side or preparing individuals with disabilities for work. Models that look at meeting the needs of employers may assist individuals with disabilities with gaining and maintaining work. This means rehabilitation professionals must become human resource consultants in order to help employers identify jobs and make accommodations. Although, this approach is recommended in the literature, it is widely ignored by the State Federal Vocational Rehabilitation Program.
Purpose:  This study was designed to investigate demand side factors that impact the employment of individuals with physical disabilities and sensory disabilities.
Setting:  Mike
Study sample:  The sample included 138 Human resources and line managers in the mid-west of the United States.The majority were men (62%). The vast majority of respondents were white (91%) with an average age of 45 years. More than half (64%) were employed in a business with 501 or more employees. The majority (71%) reported having the power to hire and 53% had hired individuals with disabilities.
Intervention:  Mike
Control or comparison condition:  Mike
Data collection and analysis:  The SPR/nABLEment Employer Survey was designed for this study using narrative data from a review of the literature and focus groups. Descriptive statistics were calculated for the participants' demographic information. Multiple regression and correlation analysis was use to examine the hypothesis.
Findings:  Managers are moderately positive about individuals with disabilities being productive and reliable employees. A number of barriers prevent or make it difficult for them to hire employees with disabilities. These include: lack of a strong commitment to include disability in the diversity plan, lack of resources to help them recruit and retain workers, lack of training about the Americans with Disabilities Act and workplace accommodations. Employers also indicated that diversity training is emphasized over training about the ADA. Knowledge of the ADA, accommodations and disability inclusion in diversity training were significant factors in predicting commitment to hiring individuals with disabilities. Managers were particularly concerned about disability management and absenteeism of currently employed workers with disabilities. The findings are similar to previous research.
Conclusions:  Professionals who develop jobs for people with disabilities, must reach top management and try to influence them to include disability as part of their diversity plans; implement policies to encourage mangers to hire; and assist them with designing innovative recruitment and retention strategies. At the management and employee level disability awareness, ADA and job accommodation training may be helpful. Efforts must also be undertaken to develop jobs in demand occupations and train individuals with disabilities to perform them. This may require matching applicants to jobs. Employers also need information and training on topics like the ADA and accommodations. Job seekers with disabilities need training related to overcoming negative bias during interviews.

Disabilities served:  Blindness
Mobility impairment
Spinal cord injury (SCI)
Populations served:  Other
Interventions:  Other
Outcomes:  Other