Article Details

Research Database: Article Details

Citation:  Schartz, H. A., Hendricks, D. J., & Blanck, P. (2006). Workplace accommodations: Evidence based outcomes. Work, 47 (4), 345–354.
Title:  Workplace accommodations: Evidence based outcomes
Authors:  Schartz, H. A., Hendricks, D. J., & Blanck, P.
Year:  2006
Journal/Publication:  Work
Publisher:  IOS Press
Full text:    |   PDF   
Peer-reviewed?  Yes
NIDILRR-funded?  Yes
Research design:  Survey research

Structured abstract:

Background:  In most studies undertaken so far, the costs to businesses seem to be low in comparison to the substantial benefits of providing disability accommodation to the employees that need it. The greatest cost to businesses seems to be the purchasing of new equipment, while the greatest benefit is avoiding the time and price of finding and hiring a new employee to replace someone who quit because of a lack of accommodation. Despite this, employers often lack knowledge of acceptable accommodations, and believe that implementing them may incur a high cost.
Purpose:  the goal of the study was to gather evidence about the costs and benefits of accommodating employees with disabilities, as well as attitudes of employers who need to accommodate their employees.
Study sample:  All participants in the study called the Job Accommodation Network (JAN) for free consulting on how to accommodate their employees who needed it and accepted an offer to participate in a follow-up call to talk about their experience.
Data collection and analysis:  The surveys were given to the employers over the phone 60 days after their initial consultation with JAN. The data was then run through basic statistical analysis to see the average benefits and costs, as well as analysis for the effectiveness of the solutions.
Findings:  It was found that much like in previous studies, employers incurred a net benefit from accommodating their employees, rather than a net cost, and the effectiveness of the accommodation consultation was rated with a mean of 4.10 out of 5.
Conclusions:  The study shows that employers, contrary to popular belief, do benefit from accommodating their employees, in addition to it being a legal requirement for them to do so. it's possible that employers would be more willing to hire people with disabilities if they knew that accommodation of their needs was not as time-consuming or expensive as they were led to believe.