Education

IIT Madras researchers impact of different types of disabilities on employer hiring decisions

Our Bureau | | Updated on: Nov 29, 2021
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The researchers conducted the study based on the differences in employment rates among persons with disabilities, arising from the diverse nature of their disabilities

Nearly 80 per cent of persons with disabilities globally are in developing countries like India with most of them being less educated, under/unemployed and poor, says a study done by researchers of IIT Madras on the impact of different types of disabilities on employer hiring decisions.

The researchers conducted the study based on the differences in employment rates among persons with disabilities, arising from the diverse nature of their disabilities.

While the disparity in employment rates between persons with disabilities and the rest of the workforce has been highlighted as a cause for concern in several studies, factors contributing to the differences in employment rates within the heterogenous group of people with disabilities has received lesser attention, says a release by IIT Madras.

Uneven representation of persons with varied types of disabilities in the workforce underscores the need for organisations to seek talent beyond familiar types of disabilities. As employers play a critical role in promoting employment of persons with disabilities, this study explored leaders’ perspectives on key factors that direct their decisions regarding targeted recruitment of persons with various types of disabilities.

The research was undertaken by Lata Dyaram, Associate Professor, Department of Management Studies, IIT Madras, and her Doctoral Student, Vasanthi Suresh. The findings of this Research were recently published in the reputed peer-reviewed journal Emerald Insight (https://doi.org/10.1108/EDI-05-2020-0133), the release said.

Lata Dyaram said that based on interviews with leaders of 17 public and private sector organisations, the study reiterates the uneven representation of persons with various types of disabilities in organisations and identified some organisation specific determinants (such as knowledge about type of disability, work characteristics, accommodations, accessibility and external pressures) that shape employer decisions.

Studies like this will trigger conversations around inclusion and more research on the roles of key stakeholders – such as, youth with disabilities, families, government, NGOs and companies.

Vasanthi Suresh said that the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act mentions 21 types of disabilities whereas studies indicate that only persons with certain types of disabilities are represented in the employee base in organisations. Therefore, since employers are key stakeholders in generating employment opportunities and building inclusive workplaces, we focused on a less-explored area of how disability type influences leaders’ decision of recruiting from this untapped talent pool.

Published on November 29, 2021

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