In our last article, we described some myths or false ideas that some employers may have about workers with disabilities. Here we outline more myths about workers with disabilities, and discuss how employers can find accurate information.
More Myths about Workers with Disabilities After the COVID-19 Pandemic
Myth: Increased Workplace Absenteeism
Employers may believe that workers with disabilities will often be absent due to appointments and sick days. However, disability is not the same as illness. Most people with disabilities do not need medical appointments or time off to manage their conditions. In addition, when people do need time off, employers and workers can develop solutions together by creating accommodation plans. Reports prove that people with disabilities have an average, if not better, attendance record compared to non-disabled workers.
Myth: Decreased Productivity
Employers may think that people with disabilities are less productive than people without disabilities. They may hold this belief because some workers may need more time than others to learn job tasks. Employers may also believe that people with disabilities are dependent and will need constant help throughout the workday. However, many reports show that people with disabilities are hard-working and independent. Some workers may take more time to learn new tasks, but they complete them as independently as non-disabled workers.
Finding Reliable Information about Workers with Disabilities
Many capable, qualified people are denied the chance for fulfilling work because of widespread false beliefs about what they can or cannot do. Nonetheless, employers can gain access to a talented pool of workers by hiring and accommodating people with disabilities. Just as employers can search for accurate information about COVID-19, they can also find accurate information about workers with disabilities. If a job applicant discloses a disability on an application or in an interview, employers can question their assumptions. They can ask the applicant how to accommodate. Likewise, they can research by contacting organizations that support people with the applicant’s disability to:
- Search for employment and arrange accommodations
- Gain independent living skills
- Participate in their community through volunteering or leisure activities
Speaking to members of these organizations, or browsing their websites, can help employers better understand how people with disabilities do every-day tasks and live full lives. This knowledge allows employers to realize how well a job applicant with a disability could fit into their organizations.