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Which Employers Offer Hope for Mainstream Job Opportunities for Disabled People?

  • Elizabeth Hemphill (a1) and Carol T. Kulik (a2)


Employer reluctance to hire disabled people narrows the economic and vocational opportunities of disabled people. This study investigates employer hiring decisions to identify which mainstream employers are most likely to hire disabled people. The study reports findings from interviews with eighty-seven employers in urban and regional South Australia. Analysis reveals differences across groups of employers based on their previous hiring behaviour. Communication from employment support agencies should specifically address concerns of non-hirers and light hirers. Long-term financial concerns present strong but surmountable barriers to light hirers employing disabled people. Policy mitigating long-term employer concerns could attract employers to hire disabled people for the first time (non-hirers) or return to hiring (light hirers) disabled people. Negative employers (antagonists) and employers already sustaining ongoing workplace relationships with disabled people (loyals) have insurmountable reasons to not hire any (or more) disabled people and should not be targeted.



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