The Top 5 Myths when Hiring Employees Living with Disability
By: Chris Gaspar
Finding a job can be tough for most people. For people with disabilities, it can be even more of a challenge. People with accessibility needs have historically faced discrimination from employers based on myths and misconceptions society holds about people living with disabilities. Unfortunately, many of these myths are still present in our world today.
To help break down any barriers to employment for job seekers with disabilities, we want to shatter these myths. These helpful facts have been provided by The Accessibility for Ontarians With Disabilities Act (AODA).
Myth: There is a lack of suitable job positions.
When employers hear the word disability, they tend to look the other way. Employers believe they may be unable to provide a position that the person can perform. In fact, employees with disabilities have many unique and adaptable skills to offer. People living with disability work in a wide variety of jobs, both in the public and private sector, and perform equally as well as those without disabilities.
Myth: Expensive Accommodations
Modifying the workplace comes at a surprisingly low price – in most cases it can be done for $500 or less – a small investment to secure the most qualified applicant. Most accommodations come down to altering work hours or job tasks and making minor, inexpensive modifications to workstations.
Myth: Increased Workplace Absenteeism
Employers believe that new hires will suffer from absenteeism because of appointments and sick days. However, reports have proven those living with disabilities have an average, if not better, attendance record compared to other employees.
Myth: Decreased Productivity
People with disabilities may be thought of as less productive because of the extra time required to train the individual to perform the job successfully. Employers also believe that people with disabilities may be more dependent on assistance throughout the workday. Such an assumption is false. Many studies have shown those with disabilities are as productive as other employees and, when provided with the proper accommodations, have no trouble working independently.
Myth: Lack of Education
People living with disability have a 50% high school graduation rate, and 40% have post-secondary credentials. Canadian adults with disabilities are 66% as likely to have a post-secondary education as compared to other adults. These figures speak to the challenges many people with disabilities face in standardized education structures – though employers should recognize that any job seeker with the required educational background, whether living with a disability or not, should be a worthy addition to the workplace.
Based on these findings, there is no reason why employers should brush aside candidates living with a disability. No one should be denied work, and no employer should miss out on the best candidate based on a misunderstanding.
For more information on this list, visit the AODA website.