People with disabilities trying to find employment in the United States hospitality industry face employers who are often reluctant to hire them because of preconceived notions that they cannot do the job and that they are more costly to employ that people without disabilities, according to new research from the University of New Hampshire (UNH).
Researchers Andrew Houtenville and Valentini Kalargyrou of the UNH Institute on Disability analysed data from 320 hospitality companies in the United States, and found similar concerns and challenges regarding employment of people with disabilities. The researchers used the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) Employer's Survey as their data source.
"We found prejudice, stereotyping, and limited choices in employment as employment barriers for people with disabilities, but the chief concern among those in this survey involved the bottom line," said the researchers.
"The most frequently cited challenge or concern among hospitality and leisure companies is that the nature of the work is such that it cannot be effectively performed by people with disabilities, even though workplace accommodations are a tried-and-true method for addressing the nature of the work," the researchers said. "The cost of accommodation is the second most frequently cited challenge or concern, even among companies that are proactive in employing people with disabilities."
Employers also cited the cost of workers' compensation, the nature of work, co-workers’ attitudes, discomfort and unfamiliarity, and lack of knowledge of the effectiveness of people with disabilities as employment barriers.
The researchers said offering tax credits to offset accommodation costs and productivity differences may encourage companies to employ people with disabilities.
REHACARE.de; Source: University of New Hampshire