Article Details

Research Database: Article Details

Citation:  Burke, J., Bezyak, J., Fraser, R.T., Pete, J., Ditchman, N. & Chan,F. (2013). Employers' attitudes towards hiring and retaining people with disabilities: A review of the literature. Australian Journal of Rehabilitation Counseling, 19 (1), 21-38.
Title:  Employers' attitudes towards hiring and retaining people with disabilities: A review of the literature
Authors:  Burke, J., Bezyak, J., Fraser, R.T., Pete, J., Ditchman, N. & Chan,F.
Year:  2013
Journal/Publication:  Australian Journal of Rehabilitation Counseling
Publisher:  Cambridge University Press
Full text:   
Peer-reviewed?  Yes
NIDILRR-funded?  Yes
Research design:  Literature review

Structured abstract:

Background:  Individuals with disabilities have low rates of unemployment (17.9%) compared to the general population (64%). Those who are employed often are underemployed. These factors are influenced by an economic recession. Demand side approaches to employment, may be one way to improve outcomes. Research is needed.
Purpose:  The purpose was to explore employer attitudes about employing people with disabilities.
Setting:  The search used the following primary databases: ProQuest, Ebscohost, Lexus Nexus, ERICK database and Sage Sociology collection.
Study sample:  The data base search used the terms: attitudes towards people with disabilities, attitude, perception, disability, handicapped, employability, and vocational rehabilitation. The results were sorted to locate empirical literature.
Intervention:  Mike
Control or comparison condition:  There was no control or comparison condition.
Data collection and analysis:  The examiners used a selective approach to examining the literature. The foundation for the investigation was based on conducting a search of the vocational rehabilitation, rehabilitation counseling, psychology, sociology, and business literature from 1987 to 2012 to locate research about employer attitudes. The articles selected not only met an inclusion criteria but also well designed empirical studies. A total of 34 studies were found. These studies were divided up in to 3 main categories attitudes toward: hiring and accommodating people with disabilities, work performance and affective reactions and behavioral intentions.
Findings:  Although employers report having positive feelings about employing individuals with disabilities, there is a high unemployment rate for this group. It also appears there may be employers who are very open to hiring and on the other end of the spectrum those who are not. Addressing negative attitudes and other topics may help improve employment outcomes. This information must focus heavily on actual behavior rather than general attitudes. Strategies to receive high quality and consistent support from vocational rehabilitation professionals also needs to be addressed. Research about effective ways to improve employer attitudes is needed.
Conclusions:  More research is needed. This should include examining efforts to educate employers in order to change their perceptions towards hiring individuals with disabilities. Investigating interventions to change attitudes and more research on behavioral intentions may also be useful. Continued research is needed.

Outcomes:  Other