Misconceptions about disability jobs are not confined to Australia, but there are still some operators and managers who are hesitant about employing people with this profile.
Due to ignorance, neglect or a lack of awareness about what actually constitutes a disability, the good news is that these barriers are beginning to break down.
As of 2009 the Australian Bureau of Statistics illustrated that close to one in five citizens were living with some form of a disability, illustrating that a significant portion of our community were managing with these impairments on a daily basis.
Rather than being shunted from the workforce, public and private enterprises have made steps to welcome them into employment.
These are measures that run contrary to some damaging and false misconceptions.
Let us dispel them once and for all.
“These Roles Cost Businesses Money”
The first falsehood that has circulated surrounding disability jobs is the idea that businesses inherently lose money and head into the red because of this initiative. The reality is contrary as an overwhelming majority of professionals who are hired do not need any additional care, equipment or infrastructure to carry out their role efficiently. This makes them as much of an asset or a burden on company resources as any other employee. Those that do require some additional assistance are usually covered by a government scheme and incentive, especially with their role subsidized by the public sector as well.
“Skills and Competency Are Limited”
You would hope in 2018 that individuals are not judged based on personal biases and on discriminatory grounds, but that is still the case in some examples with disability jobs. One check of the individual’s qualifications and certifications would illustrate their competency to carry out a role in isolation. The pool of candidates is as big as managers wish it to be and the more extensive the search, the greater the opportunity to locate young, eager and skilled people waiting for their chance to impress.
“Safety Will Be Compromised”
One key misconception is the idea that recipients of disability jobs are more likely to cause and suffer from accidents on site. From slips and falls to misuse of equipment, there is an idea that they are more susceptible to errors and miscalculations due to their condition. The reality? These professionals are actually less likely to suffer injury or cause accidents than their abled counterparts. Given their condition, they are more aware of potential hazards than anyone else and if anything, they should be hired to lead and educate on workplace safety.
“Investment in Disability Infrastructure Will Overbear Work Environment”
There is a notion out there that businesses will have to over extend themselves and be overtly accommodating to a fault with disability jobs. From extra guardrails to installing elevators and software devices – there is a misconception that the infrastructure will turn a workplace upside down. What is the reality? Some minor alteration could be necessitated in rare cases, but very little will change at all in practical terms.
“Disabled Workers Are Often Absent”
How does the saying go? ‘Don’t let the facts get in the way of a good story,’ right? Well anyone who takes a fleeting glance at reports and analysis from these professionals would illustrate that recipients of disability jobs are just as likely to outperform other workers across all sectors in terms of showing up. Managers who have their biases and conceptions about what a disabled professional looks like will assume that this is the situation, when the facts and figures debunk the myth categorically.
A simple check for commercial enterprises to delve into their hiring practices would suggest that they could not only cater to disability jobs but they would directly benefit from the initiative. Government subsidies makes it a smart practice from a financial point of view, their overlooked expertise makes it a smart move from a practical point of view and their inclusion is smart from a PR perspective for the sake of the brand. To conclude that these misconceptions are misplaced would be underestimating the case severely.