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Workplace Attitudes toward Disabilities and Reasonable Accommodations

Question:

Describe about the Workplace Attitudes toward Disabilities and Reasonable Accommodations.

Answer:

Introduction:

Reasonable accommodation describes the kind of adjustments that organizations implement in their operational process to allow employees with disabilities to have equal employment opportunities (Gustafsson, Peralta & Danermark, 2013). The provisions of reasonable accommodations are warranted at the time when “gaps in functional capacity caused by the condition interfere with meeting specific requirements of the job”. Governments in order to mitigate or remove the possibility of social, physical or environmental barriers on the ability of employees with disabilities to fulfill important job functions have implemented several rules and regulations. Several studies have highlighted the significance of reasonable accommodation in order to enhance the job satisfaction level of the employees with disabilities. Therefore, it has also created positive impact on retaining employees with disabilities for a long period of time. However, reasonable accommodation is also a controversial concept, as many studies have argued that it can actually reduce the effectiveness of the operational process for the organizations.  Now, in the present competitive business environment effectiveness of the operational process is extremely important to sustain position in the market. As a result, several organizations have tried to avoid the effective utilization of the concept reasonable accommodation. In this research study, the focus will be on all factors related to reasonable accommodation so that it can able to identify the kind of attitudes that organizations possesses towards the employees with disabilities. The study will also try to highlights the kind of impact that attitudes towards employees with disabilities can have on the performance level. The study will also focus on the employment opportunities of the people with disabilities so that it can able to depict the prime factors that organizations will have to consider in future.

Problem statement:

Despite present enforced disability laws and regulations, lot of persistent barriers remains in the organizational environment. Those barriers regarding employees with disabilities include misconception regarding the capabilities of the employees with disability, lack of knowledge, lack of effective tools to communicate and negative attitude towards the employees with disabilities. Therefore, it has been identified that many organizations are not able to utilize employees with disabilities to the fullest. This not only creating adverse affect the effectiveness of the operational process for the organizations but also reduces the performance level of the employees with disabilities. Furthermore, employees with disabilities are often not provided with equal access of facilities from the organizations that eventually affect the satisfaction and motivational level of the employees. The research study will consider all the factors in order to evaluate the significance of workplace attitudes towards the employees with disabilities.

Literature review:

Disability employment:

As per the article by Zyskowski et al. (2015) utilization of people with disabilities at the workplace has become one of the major issues that organizations will have to consider in order to maintain its effectiveness of the operational process. Low employment rate for the people with disabilities has increased the concern of the governments and policy makers. However, Schur, Kruse & Blanck (2013) mentioned that statistics regarding employment of people with disabilities depends of several factors including age, education, type of disabilities and other factors. Therefore, it highlighted the fact that governments will have to consider all these factors at the time of evaluating the rate of people with disabilities has been recruited by the organizations. Statistics highlighted the fact that overall employment of the people with disabilities has been remained around the 30% mark for the past few years (McDowell & Fossey, 2015). However, the number tends to highlights an overall figure that does not segregated in the types of disabilities. Therefore, many studies have mentioned the significance of segregating all the disabilities in order to get a much more clear idea about the workplace attitude.  

As highlighted by Brault (2012) employment opportunities for the people with wheel chair users or spinal cord injuries is very low, as only 8% of the people with this disability has been provided with the employment opportunities. On the other hand, people with developmental disabilities or asperger syndrome have comparative been number around 10% regarding employment opportunities. On the other hand, people who are hearing disabilities have higher percentage around 46% of employment opportunities (Vornholt, Uitdewilligen & Nijhuis, 2013). Therefore, many studies have mentioned that it is necessary to divide all the people with disabilities according to their type of disabilities. Otherwise, it might not able to depict the exact picture regarding the kind of employment opportunities they receive from the organizations.

Conversely, Hidegh & Csillag (2013) mentioned that it is very difficult to calculate exact data according to the type of disabilities that are affecting the employment opportunities. Furthermore, the article also mentioned that it is necessary for the governments to not only consider the kind of employment of opportunities that people with disabilities are receiving but also have to identify the kind of difficulties they are facing at the workplace. Many studies have highlighted the fact that rate of employee turnover is maximum for the employees with disabilities. Houtenville & Kalargyrou (2012) mentioned one of the major reasons for the high rate of employee turnover is different attitude by the organizations towards the employees with disabilities. Majority of the organizations treat the employees with disabilities differently and also does not provide the amount of attention that they require in order to maintain their motivation at the expected level. One of the prime sources for the research on disabilities is the “Rehabilitation Research and Training Centers (RRTC)”. A recent study by RRTC has highlighted that the employment opportunities for the people with disabilities is decreasing at a rapid speed. The study mentioned that the number regarding employment opportunities for the women with disabilities has reduced from 41% to 28% over the past few years. On the other hand, the present rate of employment opportunities for the men with disabilities is at the level of 31% for the past few years (Kuper et al., 2016). This highlighted the fact that the kind of difficulties that people with disabilities is facing in order to associate them to a particular organization. In addition, it also provides an indication about the expected amount of challenges that the people with disabilities will have to face in future as well.       

Reasonable accommodation:

As per the article by Burke et al. (2013), providing employment opportunities for the people with disabilities has emerged as one of the major issues for the government to handle. For that reason, the concept reasonable accommodation has been introduced in order to improve the resent rate employment opportunities for the people with disabilities. Several studies have examined the kind of issues that an employee might have to face without the absence of reasonable accommodation. However, Schur & Adya (2013) mentioned that provision for accommodation will have to include several factors including disability related and individual characteristics, strengths and weaknesses of the accommodation. It will help government to utilize the reasonable accommodation concept in a much more effective way. As per the article by Hall, Kurth & Hunt (2013) education or related awareness is among the prime factors that affects the attitude of the organizations towards the employees with disabilities. Reasonable accommodation reflects the adjustment or modification to policies, environment and procedure so that it can help employees with disabilities to have equal employment opportunities. Equal opportunity reflects an opportunity perform all the necessary job functions appropriately. Furthermore, equal opportunity also reflects that providing equal employment and benefit to all the employees of the organizations regardless of their physical ability (Brannen & Begley, 2015). However, different studies have argued that the prime objective of the organizations will have to increase the profit level. Therefore, if organizations will have to provide equal opportunities for the employees with disabilities, it will have to increase the operational cost. It will create direct adverse impact on the profit level of the organizations.

As per the article by Larson (2015) discloser of disability is another factor that can create adverse impact on the effectiveness of the reasonable accommodation. It has been identified that people with disabilities are often feel extremely hesitant to share their disabilities in the workplace. It has become a major issue for the people with disabilities. As majority of the people fear that after disclosing their disabilities at the workplace, the attitude of the organization might get complete changed. As opined by Gold et al. (2012) organizations will have to consider several factors including issues in job development, co-workers attitudes, employers attitudes, provided benefits and equipments for the employees with disabilities in order to utilize the concept of reasonable accommodation effectively. As per the article by McCann (2013) maintaining reasonable accommodation at the workplace cannot be achieve easily without implementing any change in the culture and values of the organizations. The provision for accommodation has to be describing as an ongoing and complex process, which cannot be fulfilled in a short span of time. Majority of the workplace accommodation are constructed and implemented at the procedural level. Therefore, organizational culture, values and goals remains unchanged (Network, 2014). Therefore, majority of the cases it cannot able to have the expected amount of impact on the reasonable accommodation. For that reason, many studies have highlighted the significance of culture, aims and values of the organizations in order to utilize employees with disabilities in an appropriate way.         

Legislation to enhance employment for the people with disabilities and reasonable accommodation:

Many factors can influence employment opportunities for the people with disabilities. One of the major factor is the utilization of legislation and government benefits program so that all the people with disabilities can able to have equal opportunity to represent themselves as an effective employee for the organization. The decreasing rate of employment for the people with disabilities has induced governments to utilize several strategies so that it can able to create positive impact on the employment rate. As per the article by Griffiths (2016), employment rate is relative low because majority of the employers are reluctant to recruit people with disabilities. Recruiting people with disabilities will increase the potential legal costs for accommodation. As per the “Workforce investment Act”, organizations will have to provide sufficient training and development program for the employees with disabilities so that they can able to perform to their potential best. Policy makers have highlighted the fact that people with disabilities often require more assistance in utilizing all the present system effectively. As per the article by Summers et al. (2014) majority of the federal legislation are focused towards providing better employment opportunities for the people with disabilities. It highlighted four prime pieces of legislation including Balance Budget Act, ADA, Incentives Improvement Act and Ticket to Work Act (Long, 2014). It focuses on providing equal amount of benefits for the employees with disabilities. Furthermore, all the acts mentioned that it is necessary to provide special assistance to the employees with disabilities but it also have to make sure that they do not feel different from others. Otherwise, it will definitely create adverse impact on the satisfaction level of the employees with disabilities.          

Factors that can help organizations to successfully recruit and utilize people with disabilities:

As per the article by Matt, Fleming & Maheady (2015) organizations will have to focus on several factors in order to recruit and utilize people with disabilities successfully. For instance, studies have been identified that employees with disabilities tends to cluster in technical, professional, sales, service sector and management position. It highlights the fact that employment opportunities for the people with disabilities restricted with few specific sectors. Therefore, government has to induce organizations in these sectors to provide more opportunities for the people with disabilities. However, Newman & Madaus (2015) mentioned that majority of the time expectation of the employers in recruiting people with disabilities are too high that becomes almost impossible to achieve. Therefore, it is necessary for both governments and organizations to identify a particular way so that people with disabilities can able to enrich their knowledge and skill level. Furthermore, disability employment system has to concentrate on the needs of the employers regarding to the readiness of the job. Thus, organizations will have to utilize vocational rehab and soft skill development so that the employees with disabilities can able to exceed the expectation of the employers. However, Shuey & Jovic (2013) highlighted that people with disabilities also have to develop self-efficacy and self-determination in order to counter all the obstacle in their career development path effectively. The article also mentioned that self-efficacy depends heavily on the organizational behavior towards the employees with disabilities. Many studies have highlighted the fact that organizations attitude towards the employees with disabilities can have major affect the self-confidence level. Therefore, it will create direct impact on the turnover rate for the employees with disabilities.      

Literature gap:

From the above discussion, it can be assessed that workplace attitude towards the employees with disabilities is one of the major issue that organizations are facing in order to conduct their business effectively. The above discussion also highlighted the fact that governments of several countries have implemented lot of rules and regulations in order to provide equal opportunities of the people with disabilities. However, the statistics still reflecting that the rate of employment for the people with disabilities has been decreasing for over the past few years. Therefore, it highlights the fact that implemented rules and regulations have not able to create the expected amount of impact on developing working condition for the employees with disabilities. Thus, the study will focus on workplace attitude towards reasonable accommodation and disabilities in order to provide best possible suggestion for the organizations.

Research methodology:

Method outline:

Research methodology is one of the most significant factors that can help research study to fulfill all its objectives (Silverman, 2016). However, the effectiveness of the research methodology depends on the appropriate selection of research techniques. Therefore, in this research study the focus will be on the effective utilization of research philosophy, research approach, research design and also on the data collection procedure. This will help the study to capture accurate information regarding the topic of the research. In order to evaluate the workplace attitude towards the employees with disabilities, the study will utilize primary research technique. It will help the study to describe the practical situation in a much more effective way.

Research philosophy:

As per the article by Rotenberg et al. (2016), research philosophy reflects several typologies that can help the research study to include many types of research work. Generally, three types of research philosophies including realism, positivism and interpretivism are utilized in the research study. Positivism research philosophy helps the research study to include hypothesis testing and also provides opportunities for several experiments to include in the research study. The interpretivism research philosophy is associated with the social domain. On the other hand, realism research philosophy restricts the research study go beyond the principles of reality. In order to evaluate the workplace attitude towards the people with disabilities and reasonable accommodation, the research study will select positivism philosophy. The study will only consider positivism philosophy, as it will help to capture hidden information about the research study (Flick, 2015). On the other hand, the study will not focus on other two philosophies, as it will increase the expected time for the successful completion.

Research approach:

Research approach is another important part of research methodology that helps the study to collect in-depth information. Inductive and deductive are the two types of research approach that studies utilize in order to fulfill its objectives (Taylor, Bogdan & DeVault, 2015). However, in this study, the focus will be on deductive research approach, as it will help to include practical information about the research study. It also helps the study to include all the factors that can create impact on the employment opportunities for the people with disabilities. Therefore, it will create positive impact on the quality of the collected data. Furthermore, deductive approach is also very useful at the time of adding concepts and theories regarding the topic of the research. Thus, it can actually help the research study to increase its value. 

Research design:

Research design helps to improve the quality of the collected information that can actually help the research to fulfill all its objectives. Proper utilization of research design can actually help the research study to include effective technical tools that will eventually help the study to enhance its quality. Three types of research design are there for highlighting the techniques of research such as explanatory, descriptive and exploratory design (Mackey & Gass, 2015). Explanatory research design helps to include several incidents within the research study. It also helps to evaluate relevant data regarding the topic of the study effectively. On the other hand, descriptive research design helps the research study gain in-depth knowledge about the research study. In order to evaluate the significance of reasonable accommodation, the study will consider descriptive research design. The study will consider descriptive design, as it can help to define different approaches and applications that have been utilized for the successful completion of the study. Furthermore, it will help the research study to measure all the major factors related to the topic of the study.

Data collection procedure:

Data collection procedure is among the necessary techniques that every research study will have to utilize in an appropriate manner. Several tools and techniques are there that studies utilize so that it can able to collect accurate information about the research study. Furthermore, appropriate utilization of data collection procedure can help the research study to highlight the prime factors related to the research study. Traditionally, secondary and primary are the two prime sources for the research study to collect information (Arneson, 2015). As the research study is focused towards the workplace attitudes of the organizations towards the people with disabilities, the study will consider primary sources of data collection procedure. It will help the research study to include practical perspectives. Furthermore, primary data collection to technique will also help the research study to gain information about the kind of difficulties that the people with disabilities are facing at the workplace. The study will select survey technique to collect primary data about the workplace attitudes towards the employees with disabilities. The research study will utilize online and offline platform to collect primary data about the reasonable accommodation techniques. However, the research study will also utilize secondary data at the time of developing literature review section of the study. The research will consider secondary information, as it will help the research study to include several theories and models related to the topic of the research study.

Data techniques: Quantitative and qualitative

As opined by Roessler et al. (2016) effective utilization of data techniques is extremely important in order to collect relevant information about the research study. Two techniques are there namely quantitative and qualitative that the research study can utilize in order to capture in-depth information about the research study (Skinner, 2015). Now, workplace attitude towards reasonable accommodation and employees with disabilities is an extremely vast concept. Therefore, the research study will consider both the data techniques. The research study will consider online survey technique at the time of collecting quantitative information about the workplace attitudes towards the reasonable accommodation. The research study will consider 90 employees with disabilities working in different industries at the time of collecting quantitative information about the research study. Questionnaire with only close-end questions will be utilized at the time of collecting quantitative information about the workplace attitude. Conversely, the study will also consider qualitative data collection technique so that it can able to depict in-depth information about the study. The research study will select 30 senior level managers to collect qualitative information about the workplace attitude towards the reasonable accommodation. Face-to-face interview technique will be selected at the time of capturing qualitative information. In case of capturing qualitative information, separate questionnaire with open-end questions will be utilized in this study.    

Sampling technique:

As mentioned earlier, the research study will consider 90 employees with disabilities and 30 senior level managers from different industry to capture information about the study. Thus, it can be assessed that the research study will consider non-probability sampling technique in order to gather relevant information. Generally, two types of sampling technique namely probability and non-probability is utilized for capturing in-depth information about the research study. However, this particular study will only focus on the utilization of non-probability technique, as it can help the study to fulfill all its objectives. 

Ethical consideration:

Ethical consideration is extremely important for the successful completion of the research study. Therefore, the research study will also have to maintain all the ethical code of conducts effectively. For instance, the study will focus on maintaining the dignity of the respondents at the time of collecting information. Furthermore, the collected information will not be used for any other external studies. The study will also try to focus on remaining unbiased at the time of collecting information about the workplace attitude towards the reasonable accommodation and employees with disabilities. Furthermore, no respondents will be forced to share their opinion regarding the topic of the study.   

Future scope:

Employment of people with disabilities and reasonable accommodation are extremely vast topic. Therefore, it will provide huge amount of scope in future to study the kind of impact that workplace attitudes can have on the turnover rate of the employees with disabilities. Furthermore, present business environment is evolving in continues manner. Therefore, several rules and regulations are often been implemented by the organizations that can create direct impact on the employment opportunities for the people with disabilities. Therefore, it will induce governments of several countries to implement new rules and regulations so that people with disabilities can able to have equal amount of opportunities to display their skills and knowledge. As mentioned earlier, negative attitudes of the organizations toward the employees with disabilities is primarily because of lack knowledge. Therefore, it provides opportunities to research further regarding the best possible way to enrich the knowledge of the organizations so that they can able to utilize people with disabilities in an appropriate way.   

Conclusion:

Analysis in the literature review section highlights that majority of the organizations are not actually focusing on the effective utilization of employees with disabilities, Therefore, it creating adverse impact on the performance level of the employees. Furthermore, it is expected that the study will highlight workplace attitudes as the prime factor for the increase the in the turnover rate for the employees with disabilities. Therefore, it is expected that the study will able to suggest proper way for the organizations by which they can actually able to utilize people with disabilities and the concept reasonable accommodation in a much more effective way.

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