June 27 2011
Creating better job opportunities for the disabled
new ways to improve the employment rate of people with disabilities in
regional businesses is the goal of a new
UniSA research project.
UniSA researchers will collaborate with Finding Workable Solutions Inc. on the three year project that will focus on combating the negative stereotypes employers often associate with people with disabilities.
Dr Elizabeth Hemphill from the School of Marketing and Professor Carol Kulik from the School of Management say people with disabilities frequently face unfounded prejudice when seeking employment.
“Employers often anticipate that they will be poor performers that require expensive job accommodations,” Dr Hemphill said.
“They are also sometimes concerned that customers and community members will react negatively to employees with disabilities and that that will negatively affect the bottom line.
“As a result, jobseekers with disabilities often accept short-term low-wage employment in disability-focused enterprises rather than face repeated rejection from mainstream employers,” she said.
In Australia, nearly one fifth of the population has a disability that restricts their everyday activities, while the unemployment rate for people with disabilities is 8.6 per cent compared to 5 per cent for people without disabilities.
Of the $5 billion the Australian government is investing in disability services over the next five years, the majority of this funding will go towards agencies that deliver employment support to jobseekers with disabilities.
Dr Hemphill says job agencies play a crucial role in placing people with a disability into jobs but need better strategies to be more successful.
“Specialist employment agencies like Finding Workable Solutions play a key ‘linking pin’ role, motivating jobseekers with disabilities to seek employment and encouraging local employers to consider job applicants with disabilities,” she said.
“Unfortunately these agencies face an uphill battle,” Dr Hemphill said.
To learn more about the project contact:
Dr Elizabeth Hemphill
p: 8302 0623 m: 0417 882 176
- Kelly Stone office (08) 8302 0963mobile 0417 861 832 email firstname.lastname@example.org