UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The benefits to hiring individuals with intellectual disabilities : employers' perspectives Wells, Taylor Charlene


Many individuals with Intellectual Disabilities (ID) desire meaningful community participation and are motivated to work. Despite this desire, employment rates for people with ID are considerably low. Negative employer attitudes are one of the main barriers faced by individuals with ID in securing competitive integrated employment. Employers who have had one and a half- to 30 years’ experience hiring employees with ID were interviewed on the benefits to hiring and retaining workers with ID. The sample included 13 employers and 2 additional workplace managers, totalling 15 participants. Four major findings emerged that describe the benefits to hiring people with ID: 1) Workplace Environment, 2) Business, 3) Employer Job Satisfaction, and 4) Community Support and Expertise. Hiring employees with ID led to a more positive workplace environment, bolstered by the employees’ personalities, contributing to a sense of teamwork and employer perspective shift on workplace operations. Employees with ID contributed to better business by filling roles, demonstrating strong work ethics and bringing diversity to the workforce. Employers experienced greater job satisfaction in knowing that they were making a difference by hiring inclusively and connecting to the community. Finally, employers commented on the benefits of community support professionals who assist with hiring, training and retaining employees with ID. One of the primary goals of the present study was to educate employers on the benefits to hiring people with ID. Study participants’ advice to more hesitant employers and further dissemination of results are discussed. No one who wants to work, should be excluded from the labour market, and with the right assessment, tools, support, and welcoming employers, this is achievable.

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Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International