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Study: Employment gap remains for disabled

Wednesday, October 20, 2010  
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Little progress has been made in closing the employment gap between people with and without disabilities since the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act 20 years ago, according to a study by Harris Interactive.

Although corporations recognize that hiring employees with disabilities is important and, for the most part, do not perceive the costs of hiring people with disabilities to be prohibitive, most are not hiring many people with disabilities and few are proactively making efforts to improve the employment environment for them, according to The 2010 Survey of Employment of Americans with Disabilities.

Broadly speaking, companies are thinking about diversity and incorporating aspects of diversity hiring into their corporate policies, according to results of the April 2010 telephone and online survey of 411 human resource managers and senior executives at companies with more than 50 employees. Companies with disability programs report the initiatives are inclusive of all aspects of the employment process.

While most of the surveyed employers do not perceive their program to be particularly effective, survey findings suggest otherwise. Harris Interactive found employers mainly use referrals to find employees with disabilities and are not using service provider agencies to their full capacity. However, if employers better understood the benefits provided by these agencies – namely, help finding qualified candidates – companies might find them much more useful.

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