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Strategies and Best Practices for Supported/Transitional Employment for Individuals with Disabilities
People with disabilities are often deprived of employment opportunities and condemned on grounds of low performance, if any organization tends to offer them jobs. Physical disability is not the measurement of cognitive incompetence hence; there is strong need to focus on promoting these individuals in taskforce. It can help them earn for themselves and play their role in organizational development as well.
Strategies and Best Practices for Supported/Transitional Employment for Individuals with Disabilities
In the 21st century, the importance of human beings is increasing as assets to the organization. It is no exaggeration to mention that many organizations officially state that their employees are their most valuable assets. The employees also confirm that their organization is concerned about their professional as well as personal lives and provides them with many opportunities to enjoy both of them. Furthermore, many organizations offer healthcare facilities to their employees so that they remain fit and continue contributing to the development of organization.
As environment is deteriorating largely, many organizations focus on hiring the healthy individuals in their taskforce. The health of individuals is ensured through medical examination which is conducted at the time when job offer is placed. There are many triggers behind this philosophy. Organizations want to ensure healthy environment for their employees hence do not take the risk of hiring a person who has contagious diseases. Furthermore, the regularity and punctuality of an employee also depend upon his physical health. It is assumed that if an employee does not enjoy sound health, he is expected to take more sick leaves. It has direct relationship with his performance and the organizational productivity on the whole.
The third important factor related to hiring healthy individuals is about the cost impact which is quite important as organizations have contracts with the healthcare insurance agencies and medical hospitals. If the employees are hired, and their physical well being is not up to the mark, it is most likely that they will not be covered under insurance policy and if they are covered, the policy premium will be high. In addition, the hiring organization will have to spend more on providing him the medical treatment. He will be visiting hospitals on regular basis and bills will have to be paid by organization.
As these factors are evaluated before finalising the decision of hiring an individual, naturally, the healthy individual gets priority while the other ones are deprived of earning opportunity. As mentioned earlier, environmental degradation has caused serious threats to the health and well-being, it is expected that a large pool of candidate will be rejected on the basis of health.
The same can be valid for the disabled employees as well. Organizations operating in the modern 21st century have uncountable challenges which they expect their employees to face. Organizations want to reduce the possibility of attention deviation to other aspects of life and want to do anything to boost their performance. In these trends, the earning of the disabled individuals requires special attention.
The disabled employees, may be mentally fit, but cannot perform certain functions which require physical fitness. An example is; the individual with speaking or hearing impairment cannot be appointed as call centre agent where the core function is attending and responding the calls. There are certain other factors which make it difficult for him to perform his role on the floor. In case of emergency, he cannot inform anybody about it. He cannot understand people talking about emergency hence cannot take any precautionary measure. Organizations tend to avoid hiring such employees but it is giving birth to many problems.
The disabled employees are increasingly deprived of employment opportunities; hence it is difficult for them to earn bread and butter. Many of them may have families whose responsibilities may have been assigned to them. As they find no employment opportunities, while their needs are lying unsatisfied, they start focusing on shameful activities like begging or unlawful activities like snatching. Both these types of activities are undesirable and the state authorities do not permit them.
It is, therefore, realized as a need of the hour to create employment opportunities for the disabled employees so that they can enjoy their living in a respectable manner. This paper gives an idea about the type of opportunities that can be made available to the disabled employees without compromising their own performance and organizational objectives as well.
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of study is to explore the possibility of providing employment opportunities to the employees with disabilities. It is an exploratory study in which type of employment and its likelihood to be performed by disabled employee is evaluated. The study has some additional objectives which are as follows.
To give organizations an idea about getting work done through the employees with disabilities.
To recommended retention plan for the employee who was physical fit previously and lost some power due to an accident.
To suggest increase in candidate pool size and job offer to individuals who are best fit for a particular job description.
Scope of the Study
As study is about the individuals with disabilities, it is important to mention that it includes physical disability only. The concept of mental disability exists in the society but is not discussed here. Mentally disabled people are considered beyond the scope of this research. It is to simplify the research and provide effective recommendations for hiring of employees with physical disabilities assuming their cognitive skills are perfect.
Significance of the Study
The significance of the study lies in its core and secondary objectives, in which it is stated that it will lead to win-win situation for the disabled individuals and organization both. Apparently, the benefits to organization by hiring disabled individuals seem vague, but there exist certain important factors which make it high likely for an organization. One of the important benefits to organization in this regard is about its corporate social responsibility. The management experts agree that creation of job opportunities is an important responsibility assigned to organizations. This is the reason; the public sector and state owned organizations usually overstaff to incorporate more and more individuals in the workforce.
There can be other factors for rationalising the decision of hiring disabled employees. It can be argued that one aspect of physical impairment may not deprive an individual to use his cognitive skills hence organizations have bright chances of boasting of his adherence to corporate social responsibility by hiring the particular individual. There are many jobs which do not require use of all skills and senses present in the employees. There is the reason, many employees are found complaining that the organization does not unleash their potential and give them no opportunity to grow and excel. If such jobs are offered to the disabled employees, their self-esteem level may increase and it can help them spend their lives like other normal human beings.
An important concept explored in this study is related to supported employment. It means people with disabilities are hired as support staff or there are some other employees who support the functioning of these employees. For example, a dumb employee is given the job of data entry. He performs his job well in routine. In case, there is something he needs to communicate to his boss or some fellow, organization has proper mechanism of getting his message communicated through writing. Another example is of hiring waiter who has hearing impairment, in the restaurant. He is supported with another waiter who takes orders from customers and the disabled waiter does all necessary preparation for final delivery of the order.
Limitations of the Study
Described below are the main limitations of this study.
The study is focused on physically disabled individuals. The definition of physical disability is given in the next section.
The study focuses on supported employment for individuals with disabilities. It means, the study offers the situations in which a disabled employee can be attached with another employee and they jointly perform their function.
Definition of Terms
The most important term requiring an operational definition is disability. In this research study, disabled individual means a person whose disability is visible to all or can be noticed quickly. For example, issues in senses like vision, speech, hearing power, improper functioning of any visible organ like impaired arm or leg etc. It does not take into consideration issues like having one kidney to operate, rods in arms and legs, struts in heart etc.
Chapter 2: REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE
The concept of employment opportunity for the disabled people finds its root in the concept presented by Follet in the 20th century (University of Navaria, 2006). She was one of the pioneer business management authors and gave the corporate world a fair idea about hiring individuals not only to perform organizational jobs but to fulfill employees' needs. She introduced many ethical considerations in the literature which were incorporated in practice at later stages. As she discouraged…[continue]
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