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Dispelling The Myths

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Individuals with disabilities who are not in the labor force are faced with the misconception that they are either unable or unwilling to work. Failure to recognize and address these myths and negative stereotypes results in discrimination and the exclusion of individuals with disabilities from the workplace despite their willingness and ability to actively participate in the labor force.

Myth: People with disabilities do not have the talent and skills needed in business.

Fact: More and more people with disabilities have started attaining education in urban areas or are able to acquire vocational training of some kind. New technology is leveling the playing field for many workers with hearing, vision, mobility, and print reading disabilities.

Myth: It's almost impossible to interview individuals with disabilities because it's so easy to break human rights laws.

Fact: Interviewing is easy. They key is to focus on abilities rather than disabilities. Ask the same job-related questions that you ask other applicants. And once you've hired someone with a disability, there's a good chance they'll stay. Pizza Hut Corporation finds that workers with disabilities are five times more likely to stay than people without disabilities.

Myth: It doesn't matter to my customers if I address the disability issue or not.

Fact: Since people with disabilities these days have started working at good places and at senior positions, they are emerging as a spending group with significant clout.

Myth: Customers and employees will be uncomfortable seeing a person with a disability in the workplace or at a business.

Fact: Its vitally important from a business standpoint for a company’s workers to mirror their customer population. Disability-friendly companies have an opportunity to build lucrative and loyal patronage from their customers with disabilities, as well as their families and friends. When companies develop products and services with a broad customer appeal, they can better respond to marketplace demands and edge out the competition to increase profitability.

Myth: Individuals with disabilities are more prone to additional injuries.

Fact: Workers with disabilities have average or better safety records on and off the job. The US Department of Labor, through four national studies, has found that individuals with disabilities experience fewer disabling injuries than the average employee exposed to the same hazards.

Myth: Individuals with disabilities are unable to meet performance standards, thus making them a bad employment risk.

Fact: In 1990, DuPont conducted a survey of 811 employees with disabilities and found 90% rated average or better in job performance compared to 95% for employees without disabilities.

Myth: Individuals with disabilities are not as productive or don't work as hard as employees without disabilities.

Fact: According to a survey of 920 American employers, employees with disabilities have about the same (57%) or better (20%) productivity levels than employees without disabilities. 90% were rated as average or above average in performance of job duties.

Myth: Employees with a disability are more difficult to supervise than employees without a disability

Fact: According to a research in US 82% of managers found employees with disabilities no more difficult to supervise than employees without disabilities.

Employees with disabilities should be held accountable to the same job standards as any other employee. Managers should be confident that their supervisory skills will work equally well with employees with disabilities