In the Eyes of the Beholder

IMG_0079In the eyes of any person without a disability, accommodations typically do not cross the mind simply because they aren’t  affected by the lack of compliance. When prospective business students shoot to be the manager of a restaurant, hotel, grocery store, or anywhere, they have to think of not only accommodations for their customers but also their employees. Job accommodation for those with disabilities is still lacking in the workforce due to multiple reasons, such as an individual shying away from requesting accommodations and characteristics that add to this lack of accommodation. Characteristics like education, type of disability, age, gender, and number of disabilities are all things that affect the things that a workplace will make compromising difficult. In general, requesting accommodations is a difficult process, legally figuring out what to do and deciding what one wants, is hard. Due to a mixture of the disabled employee and the typically ignorant employer with the confusion caused by the complicated ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act), job accommodation is needed but generally hard to come to an agreement between both parties.

The ADA provides civil rights protection and guarantees equal opportunity for those with disabilities in multiple areas: public accommodations, employment, transportation, etc. In addition, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) which is mentioned in many of the resources used, is a convention that specifically addresses the human rights of people with disabilities such as the right to work, the right to political participation, etc. Both ADA and CRPD purpose is to eliminate or minimize discrimination for those people with disabilities as much as possible. In “Workforce Participation Barriers for People With Disability”  by Anthony Hogan, Su Mon Kyaw-Myint, Debra Harris, and Harmony Denronden states “factors uniquely contribute to employment outcomes for people with disability, taking into account the associations which may exist between variables possibly contributing to the outcome.” (page 3). This quote means that there are many factors that add to the low percentage of employees with a disability. The goal of the ADA would be to raise the percentage by making it more accessible for the challenged to apply, get, and accomplish jobs in the workforce.

There are mandatory legal accommodations for workforces to provide, the Americans with Disabilities Act has specific laws and obligations that are to be implemented. The hope of the ADA is to aid in fixing distinguished discrimination. A resource that focused on the ADA usage, “Barriers to the Accommodation Request Process of the Americans With Disabilities Act” written by John Jay Frank and James Bellini, that brought up strategies informants use to get around the ADA process in order to attain their goals and the barriers they face. Unfortunately, despite the ADA’s attempt, there are still plenty of hurdles that stand in the way which means that if they are not taken care of, the ADA’s goal is to create discrimination free and equal opportune communities will fail. One interview in the article supplied a quote that stated “There are so many hoops to jump through with trying to get accommodation.” (page 5). The statement backs up one of the main points as to why there are not as many disabled employees because of the struggle to be an equal. This article talks about the hope for getting rid of job barriers for the disabled but points out the complications that may occur. To improve the accommodation availability percentage the study suggests characteristics that add to this lacking feature of the work place, it is also suggests ways to work with or around issues preventing a growth.

Despite the good intentions of the ADA, there are many barriers created by the red tape and other common complications that come along with paperwork and legal processes. In addition to the legal leg restraints that prevent those who are disabled in moving forward in hopes to make accommodation as easily gained as it should seem, there are personal restraints that add to this issue. In the article “Workforce Participation Barriers for People with Disability” pointed out that there are many individually made barriers that prevent in the gain of compromises for those who need it in the labor pools. This brings up the possibility that the nervousness to ask for help, understanding, or accommodations is not that the person is ashamed or embarrassed but instead, are considering what all the company would have to work around. The article included a question from one of their interviews that said “Why do I have to be made to feel that I am inadequate because I need accommodations?” This goes to show that those with disabilities are often times embarrassed to admit it, let alone go out and ask for help. If someone doesn’t ask for help, how can they be helped? This is one of the individually made barriers that the article discusses in addition to the multiplicity of all the possible complications that go along with hiring and employing the disabled.

Things such as education, type of disability, age, gender, and number of disabilities are all things that come into play when employers have to contemplate when hiring. Personally, when a surgeon was interviewed, the questions was asked “Would you ever hire or employ a person with one or more disabilities?” The answer was not forced or rehearsed but instead genuine and sincere. Dr. Woodajo, the surgeon, replied that he is embarrassed of how often he questions a disabled persons ability to work out of nervousness and the unknown terrain of a disabled mind or capabilities, but that he would never turn away anyone more qualified and able to complete the assigned tasks because of a manageable disability. After reviewing an actual response from an employer, the perspective is more clear for the people that actually do the hiring.

Works Cited

Frank, John J., and James Bellini. “Barriers to the Accommodation Request Process of the Americans With Disabilities Act.” Journal of Rehabilitation 71.2 (2005): 28-39. Academic Search Complete. Web. 15 Nov. 2014.

Hogan, Anthony, Su Mon Kyaw-Myint, Debra Harris, and Harmony Denronden. “Workforce Participation Barriers for People With Disability.” International Journal of Disability Management 7 (2012): 1-9. Academic Search Complete. Web. 15 Nov. 2014.

Gold, P.B., Oire, S., Fabian, E., & Wewiorski, N. (2012).  “Negotiating workplace accommodations:  Perceptions of employees with disabilities, employers, and rehabilitation service providers.” Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 37, 25-37.

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