Article Details

Research Database: Article Details

Citation:  Lindsay, S., Robinson, S., McDougall, C., Sanford, R. & Adams, T. (2012). Employers' perspectives of working with adolescents with disabilities. International Journal of Disability, Community and Rehabilitation, 0
Title:  Employers' perspectives of working with adolescents with disabilities
Authors:  Lindsay, S., Robinson, S., McDougall, C., Sanford, R. & Adams, T.
Year:  2012
Journal/Publication:  International Journal of Disability, Community and Rehabilitation
Publisher:  International Disability Research Centre on Social and Economic Innovation
Full text:   
Peer-reviewed?  Yes
NIDILRR-funded?  No
Research design:  Qualitative research

Structured abstract:

Background:  Studies examining employers' experiences with employing individuals with disabilities is mixed. Some studies report on benefits associated with hiring someone with a disability. Others report various concerns related to costs, safety, and job fit among other things. Research about employers' experiences related to working with youth with disabilities is limited. More research is needed.
Purpose:  This study examined the views of employers' who supervised a youth with a disability during a work experience.
Setting:  The study took place in Canada.
Study sample:  The sample included 33 employers who had supervised a youth with a disability.
Intervention:  There was no intervention
Control or comparison condition:  There was no control or comparison condition.
Data collection and analysis:  A questionnaire was sent out to 45 employers and 33 were returned. The researchers used descriptive statistics and qualitative analyses approaches. A constant comparison method was used with adjustment and analytical decisions were documented in an audit trail.
Findings:  Youth were placed in various work settings. This included: television station, retail stores, bank, radio station, day care and more. Employers reported feeling well prepared prior to the youth's start date. They also reported receiving adequate support from the employment training program staff during the youth's work experience. The majority or 63% indicated supervising the youth took acceptable amount of time, and the remainder 33% reported it did not require much additional time. The majority or 87.5% also indicated a willingness to supervise a youth again. Employers also discussed how their initial concerns related to accommodations, work content and quality were alleviated and how their perceptions improved related to workers with disabilities.
Conclusions:  Employers reported positive perceptions about the youth they supervised. Structured programs that offer support to employers related to job fit and providing accommodations may increase work experiences for youth with disabilities. Examining employer perceptions may offer insight into ways to reduce fears and concerns associated with employing people with disabilities.

Populations served:  Other