Literature Review on Hiring Persons with Disabilities

Final report: Literature Review on Hiring Persons with Disabilities

Contract Number 7616-12-0018-00

April 19th, 2013

Submitted by: Dr. Lynn Shaw

Submitted to: Office of Disability Issues







    1. 3.1   Scoping Review Study Design and Methods


    1. 3.2   Stage 1 Identifying the Research Question


    1. 3.3   Stage 2 Identifying Relevant Studies


    1. 3.4 Stage 3 Study Selection and Relevance Assessment


    1. 3.5  Stage 4 Data Extraction and Charting the Data


    1. 3.6 Stage 5 Collating, Summarizing and Reporting Results


    1. 4.1 History and Factual Results of Evidence Search and Extraction


    1. 4.2 Historical/factual information – Grey Literature


    1. 4.3 Barriers Analysis and Synthesis


    1. 4.3.1 Barrier Theme and Categories – Disability Discrimination


          1. Disability Discrimination – Explicit Barrier


          1. Disability Discrimination – Implicit Barrier


        1. 4.3.2 Lack of employer experience with disability –

        2.         Costs –
        3.          Attitudes –
        4.          Support and Relationships
        5.          Services, Systems and Policies
        6.          Technology

4.4 Overarching Barrier Salience

4.5 Facilitators Analysis and Results


5.1 Nature of the knowledge base on barriers and facilitators in evidence literature

5.2 Nature of the barriers and facilitators in grey literature.

5.3 Mapping of Barriers with Hiring Processes -What we know and Gaps in the knowledge base?

5.4 Mapping of Predominant Barriers with Facilitators – what we know and recommendations for advancing inclusive hiring practices and future research

5.4.1 What do we know about attitudinal barriers and potential solutions?

5.4.2 What do we know about employer level barriers and potential solutions?

5.4.3. What do we know about partnerships and future directions?

5.5 Research Implications


Tables 1 Evidence articles

Table 2 Grey Literature

Table 3 Facilitators


Legend of ACRONYMS in text

PWDs Persons with Disabilities

ADA American with Disabilities Act

ODA Ontarians with Disabilities Act

ICF International Classification of Functioning Disability and Health




Access to mainstream employment for persons with disabilities continues to be a challenge in the Canadian context (Kirsch et al., 2009, Lysaght et al., 2012, Shaw et al., 2012). Insights into the barriers in the hiring process from the perspective of employers and persons with disabilities are needed to inform opportunities and possibilities to open the door for persons with disabilities in gaining entry into work places and achieving their employment goals.


This report presents a literature review and synthesis of the barriers and facilitators in hiring processes from perspectives of employers and persons with disabilities.


A scoping review using Arksey and O’Malley’s (2005) and Levac et al.’s (2010) methodological frameworks was conducted to find and select both evidence and grey literature (websites, best practice models, case studies, and government documents). Eight electronic databases, MEDLINE, ProQuest-All, Social Science Abstracts, EMBASE, Psyc-INFO, ProQuest-Business, CINAHL, ABI/INFORM were searched for evidence-based articles. Grey literature searches included 370 websites, hand searches and searches of government documents. Five stages of Arksey and O’Malley’s (2005) review process were used to select and chart the extracted data. An integrative analysis was used to identify the frequency and realm of barriers that linked to four hiring processes: Planning, Selection, Job Offer and Retention. An analysis of qualifiers was used to identify barrier salience. Barrier salience was used to identify four predominant barrier clusters and these were mapped with facilitators to identify areas of strength and gaps in the knowledge base.


Results of the searches from 8 databases yielded N=6480 articles (evidence literature). Following data selection and relevance assessment processes N=38 evidence articles and 19 grey literature documents were included in data extraction. There were 8 themes of barriers Disability Discrimination – Explicit and Implicit, Lack of Experience with disability, Costs, Attitudes, Support and Relationships Services, Systems and Policies, and Technology. There were 12 facilitator categories: Access to information, Education/awareness/experience, Establishing partnerships, Government support with compliance to legislation, Incentives for employers, Establishing an agency for the provision of accommodation services, Training employment advocates, Opportunities and Acquisition of skills/work experience, Accommodation requirements and policy development, Best practices, Knowledge of legislation on accommodation and anti-discrimination, and Plan for hiring persons with disabilities and for managing disclosure. The four predominant systemic barrier clusters were Attitudinal barriers, Employer barriers about performance skill and capacity, Employer lack of awareness of disability and the management of disability related issues in hiring and retention, and Lack of integration of services and policies to promote hiring and retention.


There is a wide realm of knowledge on barriers experienced by employers in enacting inclusive hiring processes. The literature on facilitators may be used to address some of the current difficulties and challenges faced by employers and the experiences of persistent marginalization and employment injustices faced by groups of persons with disability. Advancing employment participation of persons with disability is a complex social issue and

responsibility that requires a collaborative and informed approach. Findings in this review point to the need for more specific information to build upon the generic information that currently exists to support employers.


  •  Small and medium size firms require planning support and knowledge on how to move beyond the attitudinal and barrier rhetoric to engage in organizational or corporate planning processes aimed at recruitment and selection.
  • All firm sizes small, medium, and large that have plans to hire persons with disabilities require knowledge to develop their capacity for assessing and matching performance and skills of persons with disabilities with the actual demands of work.
  • Persons with disabilities experience employment injustices related to gaps in establishing a work performance history and repertoire of employment skills. Thus, this impacts employers who cannot readily evaluate performance in the context of employment disadvantages. Support is needed for persons with disabilities to gain and maintain performance of skills during times of unemployment. Employers need assistance with how to evaluate performance of persons who have experienced persistent employment disadvantages. Together employers and persons with disabilities need to identify ways that performance might be assessed through internships, demonstration in probationary periods of employment, and questions in interviews.
  • Technology and accessibility remains a barrier for some persons with disabilities in participating in online recruitment processes and in knowing how to search and find employment opportunities online. Potential barriers within the online processes of hiring have not been adequately studied to identify the ways that technology may lead to inadvertent or implicit discrimination. Thus, research is needed to support recruiters and employers in the development of online hiring processes that are accessible but that also support opportunities for persons with a range of disabilities to participate in the hiring processes. A collaborative and action oriented approach may inform what types of online forms, formats and questions support inclusion and prevent discrimination.
  • There is a lack of planning for recruitment and recruitment specific strategies that purposefully target persons with disabilities as a viable human resource. This barrier is underscored by many barriers in this review. To advance inclusive hiring practices there is a need for greater coherence between the corporate plan and the recruitment strategies used by employers that are accessible and made known to persons with disabilities.
  • Local and regional partnerships between employers, recruitment agencies, peer-support programs, disability support agencies, disability organizations, education and training programs, and government supported employment economic incentive programs that are underscored by an integrated approach of service and policies are needed to support and respond to the range of needs of employers and persons with disabilities in the recruitment, selection and retention hiring processes.
  • Given that partnerships were identified as a potentially useful facilitator further research is needed to inform how partnerships can be established in rural and urban communities. Some of the issues that require investigation include what types of partnerships work, what firm size or sector is engaged in partnerships, who is involved in partnerships, what are the roles of partners,what are the mechanisms of the partnerships that support greater employment outcomes, what types of support are used at different stages of hiring and retention, how do people in these partnerships access knowledge and education to support the partnership and their roles in the partnership etc.
  • Hiring practice guidelines that support greater specificity of knowledge related to hiring people with disabilities may advance current knowledge and practices to support those persons with disabilities who persistently experience employment injustices such as persons with mental health challenges, epilepsy and vision loss to name a few. (These may not be the only marginalized disability groups however they were noted in this review as there is literature available on the persistence of their employment injustices. Other groups may not be adequately studied or represented in the evidence literature. Thus, a strategy is needed to prioritize the development of disability specific hiring guidelines to avoid exclusion).
  • Research using participatory action methods to include persons with disabilities, and employers is needed to identify strategies in the selection processes that will inform innovations in performance assessment, flexibility of options and openness related to disclosure and innovation in selection adjustment.
  • Research using collective case study design and appreciative inquiry is needed to support the collation and mapping of strategies that work across the hiring processes and that are specific to groups of persons with disabilities and the contextual experiences of employment injustice. The findings from this type of research will further support the development of knowledge transfer of best practices for employers.
  • Critical research is indicated on the pervasive construction, in society and in the workplace, of the low performance work identity associated with persons with disabilities along with the subsequent low expectations for productivity. Understanding how this discourse is constructed and why it persists may lead to insights into the nature of this disempowering discourse and offer ways that more counter positive work identities of persons with disabilities may be shaped in society.
  • Research that links strategies used in the specific hiring processes that facilitates positive employment outcomes is limited. Future research is needed that evaluates the strategies in the hiring process that are effective in supporting the entry into work of persons with disabilities and that support the knowledge base on evidence informed inclusive hiring practices.
  • Development of best practice guides and the sharing of this knowledge for employers and organizations that support employers in the hiring of persons with disabilities can build upon the current knowledge base through more specificity relevant to actual strategies that employers can use in the hiring processes.
  • Employers that have gained knowledge and experience to support the hiring of persons with disabilities tend to have more success. These employers also tend to be larger companies that have a corporate plan and are committed to hire persons with disabilities. Employers want to have access to the knowledge they need to support the hiring and retention of persons withdisabilities. Knowledge mobilization is needed to support sharing of information relevant to understanding different types of disability, how to support a range of opportunities for disclosure and knowledge on available accommodations in the recruitment and interviewing process, and also to support more knowledge on the work ability, capacity and potential of persons who have disabilities. Greater specificity of information across the hiring processes is needed to advance inclusive hiring practices.
  • The facilitator literature synthesis in this review suggests that the trend is toward more openness in purposeful recruitment and intent to hire persons with disabilities.


Access to mainstream employment for persons with disabilities continues to be a challenge in the Canadian context (Kirsch et al., 2009, Lysaght et al., 2012, Shaw et al., 2012). Despite the knowledge on accommodation strategies, access to training programs, and human rights legislation, many persons with disabilities remain marginalized from equitable participation in productive work and accessing a living wage in the open labour market. Potential barriers associated with the work disparities faced by persons with disabilities create occupational imbalances and discrimination. Barriers that underpin work disparities and occupational injustices can include societal level barriers such as negative attitudes about work capacity of persons with disabilities; structural barriers such as a lack of resources or lack of accessibility, the lack of coordination and coherence of service and policy enactment in rural settings (Rebeiro Gruhl, 2012); and systemic barriers such as a lack of consistent understandings across public and private organizations about the rights of persons with disabilities to work and citizenship (Shaw et al., 2012). In 2008, at an international workshop comprised of experts in work transitions for persons with vulnerabilities, there was call for critical study and examination of work disparities that emphasized the need to use an occupational justice framework to guide investigations into opportunities for social change (Shaw et al., 2012).

Inequitable access to employment is a societal concern as well as an ongoing disparity for persons with disabilities. Barriers in the hiring processes that hinder work entry of persons with disabilities need to be understood. The lack of participation of persons in paid work can lead to negative health and wellbeing outcomes for persons with disabilities (Shaw et al., 2012). Research has identified that prolonged periods of lack of work can result in work disengagement for persons with mental health challenge, brain injuries, and cognitive disabilities (Kirsch et al., 2009), as well as those with work related or episodic disabilities (Shaw, MacAhonic, Lindsay, & Brake, 2009; Antoa, et al., 2013). Furthermore, the experience of ongoing deprivation can reduce occupational potential, contribute to outdated skills and reduced work confidence (Shaw, 2013). Moreover, the world of work is changing and opportunities that can support persons with disabilities in obtaining work in the new types of work in the open labour market in the current employment context warrants investigation (Shaw, 2013).

Employers have a vested interest in developing and hiring qualified and committed workers. Within Canadian society employers want to have access to a human resource that is dependable as well as access to additional qualified human resources as workplace needs change and transform. One group of potential workers are persons with disabilities. In a recent article on diversity (Allen, 2010) employers offered insights through dialogue of how they have recruited and employed persons with disabilities. The use of case studies and the sharing of best practices in hiring of persons with disabilities are viewed as the means to develop the interest of other employers as well as dispel the myths around costs and accommodation and uncertainty of hiring persons with disabilities. The Office of Disability Issues of HRSDC identified that there was a need to examine employers’ perspectives on the barriers that they experience within the hiring processes as well as best practices that might inform more inclusive hiring practices. Insights into the recruitment challenges and the potential barriers in the selection processes were identified as areas requiring further understanding to inform change.



3.1 Scoping Review Study Design and Method

A scoping review based on Arksey & O’Malley’s (2005) methodological framework, augmented by Levac et al.’s advancement of the method (2010), was conducted to identify and examine the evidence and literature on the barriers and facilitators in the hiring processes for persons with disabilities. The aim of this review was to identify and analyze the breadth of available knowledge and evidence to better understand the barriers experienced by people with disabilities in the hiring process and for employers in establishing and implementing inclusive hiring processes. The scoping review consisted of 5 stages: i) identifying the research question, ii) identifying relevant studies, iii) study selection that includes a relevance assessment of literature and knowledge based on inclusion criteria, iv) data extraction and charting the data, and v) collating, summarizing and reporting the results (Arksey & O’Malley, 2005).

3.2 Stage 1 Identifying the Research Question

The question underscoring this review was: What are the barriers in the hiring processes from the perspectives of employers and persons with disabilities that limit persons with disabilities in finding and obtaining employment? The review aimed to examine the range and nature of the evidence (research on the perspectives of employers and persons with disabilities on barriers in the hiring processes that limit participation of persons with disabilities in employment) and grey literature (website documentation in Canada on hiring practices and barriers, case studies on best practices in hiring and unpublished government reports and documents). Specifically the barriers to hiring persons with disabilities were emphasized to identify the extent and realm of barriers.

3.3 Stage 2 Identifying Relevant Studies

Relevant literature in the research knowledge base (quantitative, evaluative, or qualitative literature) on barriers to hiring persons with disabilities was searched from 1995 to present. Grey literature included the searching for web based documents on hiring persons with disabilities, government documents or publications and hand searches.

3.4 Stage 3 Study Selection and Relevance Assessment

Relevance assessments of the articles in the evidence literature were managed through a program called DistillerSR (2013). The first three steps included duplicate removal, title and abstract screening. The fourth step included relevancy assessment of the entire text for coherence and fit of articles and documents with the research question.

3.5 Stage 4 Data Extraction and Charting the Data

Information on the type of document, year of document, origin of study or doc, the type of study, the perspectives in the study (employer, person with disability, etc.), the participants in the study, the size of firms or sectors, the type of disability etc. The hiring processes data extraction focused on: planning for hiring, recruitment, interviewing, decision-making processes, skills and performance testing, making job offers, and retention. Barriers and facilitators were also extracted and coded based on categories consistent with the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Functioning Disability and Health (ICF) Environmental Chapter.

3.6 Stage 5 Collating, Summarizing and Reporting Results

All data were sorted in excel and descriptive statistics were used to summarize the general demographic data by frequency. An integrative approach was used to analyze the barriers and facilitators in the hiring process across the grey and evidence literature. The barrier salience was assessed to identify and prioritize areas to advance inclusive hiring practices.


4.1 History and Factual Results of Evidence Search and Extraction

The stages of search, selection and ratings of evidence literature identified N=38 articles and for the grey literature N=19 documents. Journal types in this review indicate that 8 of the journals focused on work and/or work rehabilitation, 2 were focused in disability journals, 7 were from business journals, 1 from a rights/justice journal, and 3 were from journals with a medical condition orientation.

When separated into five-year increments, these 38 articles were distributed as follows: 1995-2000 N=9, 2001-2006 N=11, and 2007-2012 N=18. Based on geographical origin of articles, the study location of the majority of the articles was in the United States N=23. Fewer articles has a study location in the UK N=6, Canada N=5, Australia N=1, USA and China N=1, South Africa N=1, and Japan N=1. The types of studies included 14 survey ,10 qualitative undefined, 5 mixed , 2 literature review SR, 2 grounded theory, 1 RCT, 1 observational , 1 experimental, 1 quantitative case study, and 1 ethnography.

Twenty-five articles looked at the perspectives of the employers, 6 were mixed (included employers, agencies and persons with disabilities PWDs), 6 were PWDs, and 1 was focused on employer and PWDs.

Firm sizes in the majority of the articles N=19 were mixed, large, mid and small firms. There were 2 studies with large (over 500) firms, 2 with mid sized (100 – 500), 3 were smaller firms and the rest were not specified. The type of the organizations or sectors were mixed N=20, government N=2, knowledge N=2, service N=4, service and knowledge N=1, service and low skilled N=1, service and skilled N=1, and not specified N=7.

Majority of the disability type was general N= 16, hearing N=1, mental health N=8, neurological N=2, PTSD and TBI , SCI, vision N=1 and not specified N=8. A total of 26 articles focused both on barriers and facilitators, N=7 on barriers and N=5 on facilitators.

4.2 Historical/factual information – Grey Literature

The 19 documents in grey literature were distributed by years as follows: 1995-2000 N=1, 2001-2006 N=2 and 2007-2013, N=14 and unspecified N=2. A total of 13 references focused both on barriers and facilitator, 3 on barriers and 3 on facilitators. Disability type for the majority of documents was general in nature and only one was focused specifically on mental health. A total of five documents looked at the perspectives of the employers, government policy N=5, employer perspectives and government policy N=2, disability agency or rehabilitation agency N=2, PWDs N=1, a mix of all perspectives N=2, and 2 were not specified. Most of the grey literature covered a range of hiring processes.

4.3. Barriers Analysis and Synthesis

This review identified 8 themes of barriers comprised of a total of 45 categories. The major themes of barriers and the categories represented in the extracted article data (evidence and grey literature) were matrixed with the hiring processes. There is a wide realm of barriers in the hiring processes that contribute to the challenges that employers face. Subsequently persons with disabilities experience discrimination and limited opportunities for accessing employment. The barriers in the hiring processes are experienced largely by employers, their human resource representatives, employment support agencies and persons with disabilities. Systemic barriers also range across contexts such as the workplace, the employment systems, and in society, that in turn, continue to shape the negative view that persons with a disability are not suited nor have the capacity to work or that the demands of work are not compatible with disability. To synthesize the barriers and organize them we drew upon the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) to classify and group some of the systemic data by environmental factors such as attitudes, supports and relationships, services, systems and polices and technology barriers. In addition we identified and grouped other barriers into categories of discrimination – both explicit and implicit, lack of employer experience with disability, and cost. These barrier themes helped to synthesize and explicate the data on barriers in the hiring process that limit employment access for persons with disabilities. Eight barrier themes and categories included: Disability Discrimination – Explicit (N=9), Disability Discrimination – Implicit (N=5), Lack of Experience with disability (N=4), Costs (N= 8), Attitudes (N=4), Support and Relationships (N=5), Services, Systems and Policies (N=8), and Technology (N=3).

The hiring processes were synthesized into Planning, Selection Processes, Job Offer and Retention. The specific selection processes evident in the data includes: recruitment, interviewing, decision making and skills testing. The specific barrier themes were mapped across theses hiring processes by frequency. This mapping resulted in N=85 barriers in planning process, N=30 in the selection process of recruitment, N=6 in the selection process of interviewing, N=38 in decision-making, N=0 in skills and performance testing N=0. In the job offer process N=1 and in retention process N=18 articles identified barriers. This overall summary of the barriers and their frequencies within hiring processes suggests that planning – the lack of development of a corporate plan by employers, the lack of intentions to develop job advertisements and recruit persons with disabilities etc. – was the most frequently identified process where barriers exist limiting the development of options or possibilities of the type of work that persons with disabilities have access to. The second highest barrier was within the selection processes related to decision-making. Employers perceived the greatest potential for problems to occur at the decision making stage once persons with disabilities are in the selection process. It is at this stage where employers indicate that persons with disabilities will be hampered in moving forward in the selection process as they may not be considered for actual job offers. The third highest selection process that is problematic is recruitment. Lack of targeted recruitment processes aimed at persons with disabilities and recruitment support for employers in hiring persons with disabilities was further underscored in this review by negative views and beliefs of persons with disabilities’ suitability for work demands in particular sectors. Thus, the lack of use of or purposeful intention to develop recruitment strategies or find support for this process will continue to limit the opportunities for persons with disabilities to gain entry into the hiring selection processes of interviewing and job selection.

In mapping out the data many of the views of employers suggested that barriers in the hiring processes were not just about the selection processes they were also about retention. The concept of retention in some articles continued to shape the view that persons with disabilities would not be able to sustain working over the long term without substantial costs to the employer in terms of time, benefits, accommodation etc., and also the need for services and supports over the long-term is a concern. Employers felt that the services or incentives for retention are lacking or not relevant to their needs. Thus, from the viewpoint of employers the selection process and retention need to be considered in the planning and enactment of any employer driven organizational goals to hire persons with disabilities.

Other key information can be gleaned from the lowest frequencies and the nil identification of barriers in the hiring processes. These included interviewing, skills testing and job offer. Interviewing points to difficulties experienced by employers in not knowing how to interact with persons with disabilities or what can and cannot be addressed in interviews related to disclosure. Some articles identified that this tends to be a concern for those who work in small or medium firms. But this is not consistent across the data as some human resource personnel in larger firms still encounter difficult attitudes of supervisors who do not want to explore or consider the potential of accommodations. The lack of specific information related to the skills testing and job offer aspects of the hiring process may be indicative of the articles in the database. Most articles did not map specifically with these hiring processes and thus there may be a lack of specific attention to the selection adjustment processes such as in the job application, interviewing, skills testing, and job offers. Again the later process of job offers may not be an issue for the larger firms that have established processes and personnel resources to support the hiring of persons with disabilities. However, this observation from the data indicates the need for further attention on information about the adjustment of selection processes and ways to adjust the steps in presenting job offers as well as addressing accommodations within the job offer process.

Given the breadth of information, further synthesis of the barriers was needed to elaborate on these results. The specific barrier salience of the category (the importance of the barrier category in perpetuating employment disparities for persons with disability in the hiring processes) was identified using qualifiers. The qualifiers included: 1. the frequency of the category cited; 2. the frequency of data extracted from evidence or grey literature; 3. the perspectives that informed the barrier from the documents; 4. the persistence of the barrier across the time realm of extracted data (High indicating that the barrier was reflected in documents across1995-2012, Medium indicated that the barrier was reflected in a range of years in the 2000’s only, and Low indicate >a two year span); and 5. the novelty of the barrier (novelty of the barrier was used to identify either a unique finding, regardless of the frequency, that the researcher interpreted as insightful to the change process or requires further reflection and study for ways to prevent or ameliorate this barrier from adding to or creating future barriers within hiring processes). Using the pattern of qualifiers the salience of each category was given a rating of strength of importance – strong (high frequency 5 or greater evidence citations, coherent range of perspectives, high to medium persistence of category over time), or moderate (frequency of citations 3-4 of grey and evidence literature, a range of perspectives and medium persistence over time), or weak (low frequency and persistence).

The final section of barrier results identified barrier salience across all barriers organized from strong to weak. Barrier salience was used to group the predominant systemic barriers into clusters relevant to focused areas for change.

4.3.1 Barrier Theme and Categories – Disability Discrimination

Disability discrimination in this review included both explicit and implicit barriers. Explicit disability discrimination barriers included those barriers that were clearly identified or labeled, and / or found through research to be associated with challenges or systemic barriers to hiring persons with disabilities. Implicit barriers were identified as potentially hidden barriers contributing to discrimination in the hiring process. These were not necessarily labeled as barriers, nor were the barriers studied directly.

Disability Discrimination – explicit barriers are defined as specific barriers that are directly related to the nature of the disability commonly associated at the level of the person or groups of people that have similar disabilities. Discrimination is explicitly related to beliefs that a person’s disability in and of itself or characteristic of the disability render them not suitable or capable of contributing to productive employment or to be considered as a candidate for employment in the hiring process. These beliefs may be normative in society or held by individuals in workplaces (employers, supervisors, coworkers) or disability employment support agents. In this review the groupings used to classify disability were 1. physical disabilities that are related to: body structures (e.g. neurological conditions such as cerebral palsy), functions such as mobility, endurance or strength (e.g. wheelchair users), chronic pain, or repetitive strain; 2. mental health or psychiatric conditions or challenges such as depression or anxiety; 3. sensory disabilities such as hearing loss or vision loss; and 4. cognitive disabilities or conditions associated with brain injury, stroke, epilepsy, developmental disabilities, etc. Disability discrimination is further related to characteristics of groups that have disabilities such as broadly considering persons with disabilities as one group or women with disabilities as another or older adults with disabilities and / or veterans with disabilities. Barriers in this theme were derived when the reason for not considering or selecting a person with a disability in the hiring process was linked directly to or with disability (either specifically or generally). The barrier theme disability discrimination – explicit included nine categories and the N=frequency relates to the number of articles that identified the barrier. Disability Discrimination – Explicit Barrier Frequency and Salience

  1. Performance and skill capacity – lack of fit with work demands N=12.Barrier salience was strong. This barrier was mapped against all four hiring processes and was most likely to occur in the candidate selection processes of decision-making and recruitment. Within the hiring processes the lack of fit was used to discriminate in the hiring of persons with mental health challenges in 4 of the 12 citations. The reason not to hire or plan to hire persons with disabilities is based upon their perceived lack of ‘fit’ regarding work performance or skills capacity. In the selection process employers will elect not to select a person with a disability if they believe that they do not fit with the work demands and/or the employer has no access to economic incentives, or lacks knowledge about how to change the work processes or demands, how to accommodate people, or how to meet ongoing needs to support the retention of persons with disabilities.
  2. Type of disability and worker characteristics (gender, age, etc.) N=10. Barrier salience was strong. Discrimination was most likely to occur in the candidate selection processes of decision-making and recruitment, followed by a lack of planning, and the lack of belief about the person with the type of disability in being able to work now or in the long term (retention). The most common type of disability cited as a barrier and reason not to hire or select was that of persons with mental health challenges, noted in 6 of 10 articles.
  3. Stereotyping (by society or by managers and health professionals) N=7. Barrier salience was strong. Stereotyping was associated with discrimination in the planning and candidate selection – decision-making processes. Societal viewpoints shape the beliefs of many managers or those in supervisory positions that persons with disabilities cannot work or are poor performers. Thus the need to plan for hiring is not viewed as necessary by some employers. However, in the hiring selection processes viewpoints about persons with disabilities can also contribute to discrimination. Interestingly, this view was shared across agency and employer articles indicating that it is still encountered and prevalent in considering the hiring of persons with disabilities.
  4. Disclosure of health information and disability N=4.Barrier salience was moderate. The issues of discrimination occur during recruitment, the interview and in the decision making stage. Of note is that disclosure of mental health and epilepsy were each highlighted with specific challenges for persons with non-visible disabilities. Thus, the discrimination tends to take place at the point of disclosure or sharing of health information. Employers suggest that one of the challenges for them is in collecting the health and disability information on forms. For persons with disabilities the fear of disclosure persists – not knowing if they should or should not fill in health information, or if they should be honest or notabout disclosing or when to disclose in the interview process. Employers indicate that they prefer information to be revealed early in the interview process as this assists them in judging the ‘soft’ skills relevant to hiring a person with a disability. However, the study outcomes on when disclosure should occur are mixed – some studies indicate that employers are more favourable towards hiring when information is disclosed early in the process but this issue was not consistently explored in the literature.
  5. Performance safety concerns N=3.Barrier salience was moderate. Discrimination occurs in planning and decision-making. If employers hold the belief about safety concerns it may preclude the need for planning to hire persons with disabilities and if during decision-making they have concerns about safety they will avoid selecting persons with disabilities.
  6. Lack of access to a qualified hiring pool of PWDs N=3.Barrier salience was moderate. Employers suggested that due to the lack of easy access to a human resource pool of persons with disabilities they in general do not seek out or hire persons with disabilities. This barrier category curtails recruitment if there is no readily available pool of workers to choose from.
  7. Disability dimensions – lack of fit in work culture
  8. Lack of Workplace accessibility (built)
  9. Lack of PWD work experienceThese three barriers have weak barrier salience due to low frequency of N=1. Dimensions of disability (not related to performance or skill capacity) can be a reason not to hire. This barrier related the visual esthetics of a person i.e., sitting in a wheelchair or with an obvious visual impairment such as blindness (wearing of dark sunglasses) that may not fit with the customer service culture of the particular work sector.  Disability Discrimination – Implicit Barrier Frequency and Salience

Implicit barriers were either hidden or inherent or alluded to as possible ways that disability was used in some way to subtly avoid or inadvertently end up discriminating against groups or persons with disabilities. There were five categories of implicit barriers.

  1. Lack of a corporate plan N= 4.Barrier salience was moderate. The lack of intention to consider a plan for hiring persons with disabilities occurs at the beginning of the hiring process and thus without a plan or contemplation by organizations to consider or recruit this human resource – persons with disabilities – options for employment will continue to be limited.
  2. Lack of inclusion of a realm of persons with disabilities N=3.Barrier salience was moderate. This barrier category revealed that only some persons with disabilities are included in marketing to employers or that services of some agencies only address certain types of disabilities. Thus some persons with disabilities inadvertently get excluded from access to service agencies. Persons with more complex disabilities are more likely to experience discrimination from agencies that are meant to support them to access or enter into selection processes.
  3. Tacit judgments in the selection process N=2.Barrier salience was weak. An example of this barrier category was revealed by persons with visual impairments. For instance, they may not produce resumes that are laid out in a manner expected by employers and that this opens a door for employers to make tacit, not expressed, judgments about a person with a disability as different and not as skilled and thus not suited for employment. This category draws attention to expectations for supporting documents that become the norm in hiring processes that inadvertently can be a source of discrimination in the hiring process.
  4. Lack of adjustment in the selection processes N=2.Barrier salience was weak. This issue may be overshadowed by the many other problems in the hiring process.
  5. Lack of acknowledgement of visual disabilities in the interview process N=1. Barrier salience is weak. While there was only one article that specifically eluded to this issue it was identified as unique in that it caused great discomfort for the person with a disability in the interview process as to why their disability was not acknowledged. This lack of acknowledgement may be construed by persons with vision or other visual disabilities as a means of discrimination in that the employer is merely going through the process of the interview and has no intention of making a decision to hire. This belief is further underpinned when the issues of accommodation or needs of the person with an obvious disability are never raised in the interview. The person with a visual impairment may not be able to clearly see the non-verbal expressions of the interviewer and this may also contribute to this barrier. It is also a concern for the discomfort of the employer who may not know how to handle the issue within the interview and / or how to put the person with a disability at ease about what the employer is thinking and their expectations of a person with a visual disability.

4.3.2 Lack of employer experience with disability – Barrier Frequency and Salience.

This barrier theme is about the lack of knowledge or experience with disability of the employer or employer representatives such as supervisory or management or human resource personnel. The lack of knowledge and experience with disability hampered the capacity of organizations to consider or prepare/plan for the hiring of persons with disabilities. There were four barrier categories.

  1. Lack of awareness of functional or behavioral disorders associated with specific disabilities N=8.Barrier salience was strong. These articles identified that employers or supervisors lack knowledge about the functional capacity or behaviors associated with different types of disabilities. The impact of this pervasive lack of awareness is a major impediment for organizations to plan for hiring persons with disabilities. .
  2. Unfamiliarity of supervisors in the management of disability in interviews, accommodations, and in performance issues such as discipline or evaluations N=6.Barrier salience was strong. The lack of management experience in working with persons with disabilities enters into the recruitment and interviewing processes challenging supervisors or interviewers in knowing what to say or not to say relevant to acknowledging disability, questions about the disability itself and / or what to discuss in terms of available accommodations. The other area where unfamiliarity was identified as a potential factor that discourages employers from hiring persons with disabilities is the lack of familiarity with how to address disciplinary issues or ongoing performance evaluation issues.
  3. Lack of qualified job applicants N=3.Barrier salience was moderate. This category is similar to the category of lack of access to a qualified pool of persons with disabilities in the discrimination theme however only one citation overlapped. The issue raised in these articles suggested that persons with disabilities donot apply for positions and thus this limits the need by employers to plan for or attempt to recruit persons with disabilities.
  4. Lack of access to knowledge of disability N=1.Barrier salience was weak. This issue was raised as one of the potential reasons for the lack of planning to hire persons with disabilities.

4.3.3 Costs – Barrier Frequency and Salience

This barrier theme is relevant to the economic costs or loss of direct productivity equated with costs that employers associate with hiring persons with disabilities. There were 8 categories of costs considered to be limitations that were attributed to why employers tend not to hire persons with disabilities.

  1. Accommodation N=8.Barrier salience was strong. The issue of costs of accommodation prevented employers in establishing a plan to hire persons with disabilities.
  2. Supervisor/Human Resource Personnel time N=4.Barrier salience was moderate. Employers believed that supervisors would not have time and that they would incur more costs related to the human resource managers’ time to hire persons with disabilities. These beliefs were noted to be held by mid to smaller firms with less experience in working with persons with disabilities.
  3. Benefits and Insurance costs N=3.Barrier salience was moderate. This concern was attributed to the lack of desire or consideration to plan to hire persons with disabilities.
  4. Orientation and training N=3.Barrier salience was moderate. In these articles the concerns for costs were raised as long-term costs associated with the retention of workers with disabilities. One article identified that this is a concern for smaller firms with less resources and experience in hiring persons with disabilities.
  5. Lawsuits N=2, 6. Lower productivity of persons with disabilities N=2, 7. Disruption or loss of co-worker productivity N=2, 8. Disruption/loss of customer interaction N=1These 4 categories all were rated as weak. These costs reasons were given for not planning to hire persons with disabilities. This finding suggests that there is need for education ofco-workers and support for employers in addressing specific concerns rather than making assumptions that these costs will be incurred.

4.3.4 Attitudes – Barrier Frequency and Salience

This barrier theme used the definition in the International Classification of Functioning Disability and Health (ICF) to guide the coding and identification of attitudes that influence the behaviour of employers, co-workers, customers and society that limit the hiring or depriving persons with disabilities choices to participate in employment hiring practices.

  1. Employers N=13.Barrier salience was strong. Negative attitudes are pervasive across the hiring selection processes, limiting planning, recruitment, and precludes employers from hiring and / or presenting job offers to persons with disabilities. Some employer attitudes are more negative towards persons with visual impairments, epilepsy and mental health concerns.
  2. Society N=7.Barrier salience was strong. These attitudes are all associated with the lack of planning for the hiring of persons with disabilities. Pervasive societal opinions about the beliefs of the lack of potential of persons with disabilities to work or that they do not need to work creep into the beliefs that are held by employers, co-workers and the general public that are customers of many businesses. This social construction of and cascading effect of negative attitudes then creates a system that marginalizes persons with disabilities as a group with a negative work identity and perpetuates the challenges they experience along with difficulties in accessing work.
  3. Customers and clients N=4.Barrier salience was moderate. The concern raised by employers was that customers would not be receptive to interacting with a person with a disability, in turn; customer discomfort would be a factor in their decisions not hiring persons with disabilities.
  4. Co-workers N=3.Barrier salience was moderate. Co-worker’s negative attitudes towards persons with disabilities exist as a potential factor for not hiring persons with disabilities.

4.3.5 Support and Relationships – Barrier Frequency and Salience

This barrier theme used the definition in the International Classification of Functioning Disability and Health (ICF) to guide the coding and identification of barriers related to Support and Relationships. There were five barrier categories that relate to the lack emotional support, nurturance, protection or assistance as well as relationships with other people.

  1. Lack of collaborative partnerships N=4.Barrier salience was strong. Employers need the support and assistance that comes with a collaborative support system of partners in the recruitment and retention hiring processes. This suggests that employers need support for setting up and finding candidates and supports in the long-term to assist them in managing retention of workers with disability as employer and worker needs transform and change.
  2. Lack of co-worker support N=2.
  3. Lack of use of government supports N=2.
  4. Lack of Union or worker representative N=1.
  5. Lack of support from health providers N=1.The later four categories have weak barrier salience yet were also found to contribute to challenges experienced by employers and persons with disabilities in the hiring processes.

4.3.6 Services, Systems and Policies – Barrier Frequency and Salience

This barrier theme used the definition in the International Classification of Functioning Disability and Health (ICF) to guide the coding and identification of barriers related to Services, Systems and Policies. Services provide the programs such as training and education, systems provide administrative controls such as financial incentives or resources for accommodations, and policies are the rules that govern or regulate actions or behaviours or what people do such as the anti-discrimination laws or the monitoring of accountabilities. There were 8 barrier categories in this theme.

  1. Lack of integrated services and polices to promote hiring and retention of persons with disabilities N=5.Barrier salience was strong. Articles suggest that this barrier impacts the planning and retention ends of the hiring processes.
  2. Lack of monitoring of policy implementation N=4.Barrier salience was moderate. Articles indicated that this concern impacts most on the planning part of the hiring process and presents a challenge for motivating employers that have not yet considered ways to hire persons with disabilities.
  3. Lack of economic services for employers to train and recruit N=3. Barrier salience was moderate and impacts upon the lack of hiring.
  4. Lack of specific education, labour market skills training and work training for persons with disabilities N=3.Barrier salience was moderate. This category maps against the recruitment selection process and retention indicating that this barrier interconnects with employers who plan to recruit persons with disabilities.
  5. Lack of access to Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VRS) N=1.
  6. Lack of partnering service across disability, employment, education and accommodation services N=1.
  7. Lack of supervisory training on accommodation, sensitivity, complexity of disability, and legislation related to accommodation N=1.
  8. Lack of sharing of best practices N=1.

Barrier salience is weak for the last 4 categories in this barrier theme. Lack of access to VRS was raised as a concern by employers who are in smaller firms and do not have internal resources. Lack of partnerships across education, disability services, employment and accommodation is needed to target programs that will help employers work towards and plan for hiring persons with disabilities. There is a need in some areas for targeting training for supervisors. Some employers lack a means through which to share best practices that might help transform hiring practices related to hiring and retention of persons with disabilities.

4.3.7 Technology – Barrier Frequency and Salience

This barrier theme used the definition in the International Classification of Functioning Disability and Health (ICF) to guide the coding and identification of barriers related to technology. This barrier on technology refers to any products or equipment that may be used in the hiring processes of recruitment but also in interviewing, skills testing and then in accommodation to support employers and persons with disabilities’ productivity once they become employed. There were 3 categories.

  1. Lack of access to accessible websites or tools to access the internet N=3.Barrier salience was moderate. Interestingly, this barrier has not been part of the evidence literature rather is in grey literature. Furthermore this was underscored by our disability agency representative (February, 2012 personal communication D.Fok).
  2. Lack of access to knowledge and costs of accessible technologies N=2.
  3. Lack of expertise in the ongoing use of technologies N=2.

Barrier salience of these last two categories was weak. The lack of access to knowledge and costs on accessible barriers were identified from the support agency perspective. Lack of access to this knowledge makes it difficult to bridge the knowledge gap for employers in planning and then in making decisions to select candidates with disabilities who may need technologies. The last category was raised by employers that have identified areas of concern about planning to hire persons with disabilities due to the lack of expertise that exists within their companies on managing or working with technologies that might support persons with disabilities in accessing work or employment in their workplaces.

4.4 Overarching Barrier Salience

To synthesize and organize the relevance of the barriers for the purposes of identification of priority areas of change and potential areas of research each barrier category was rated for salience – strong, moderate and weak. N=9 barrier categories were rated as strong, N= 16 were rated as moderate and N=13 were rated as weak. Categories identified as strong and moderate were examined to inform more inclusive hiring practices. They were clustered into four groups due to the commonality with four predominant barriers.

Number 1 Societal Level – Attitudinal barriers

(Comprised of strong barriers: employers attitudes, societal attitudes, and stereotyping; and moderate barriers: lack of a plan to hire person with disabilities, client/customer and coworker attitudes)These barriers for the most part hamper or preclude the planning processes needed to hire persons with disabilities within organizations. They also play a role in decision-making processes in hiring selection – due to pervasive negative views about persons with disabilities in being productive workers. This leads to discrimination by employers. In this review discrimination was noted by class of disability and characteristics. For instance, persons with

mental illness and who are women, veterans with disability, persons with hearing (tend to be older adults), and those with vision loss are examples of persons who continue to be excluded from obtaining mainstream employment. Barriers of employer negative attitudes as well as societal attitudes support this as the top barrier. This finding is also underscored in this literature by employers who reported in 12 studies that they do discriminate despite the existence of anti- discrimination laws.

Number 2 Employer level – Employer barriers about performance skill and capacity

(Comprised of strong barriers: performance and skill capacity – lack of fit with work demands, type of disability and worker characteristics, and lack of awareness of functional or behavioural disorders associated with disabilities)

This barrier underscored the pervasive perceptions and beliefs that employers held about job qualification and job performance skill and capacity concerns of persons with disabilities – that is the lack of perceived fit of persons with disabilities in performing work demands. Underpinning this barrier is the challenge of how to change the mindset of supervisors and managers about the employment potential of persons with disabilities. The second area of major concern identified by employers/managers and supervisors is that they lack the capacity or do not feel qualified to assess performance capacity and skills when faced with a person with a disability that they have no familiarity with or are uncertain as to how the disability itself plays a role in the stability of work performance and productivity over time. In addition, this barrier revealed that employers are also concerned with current and future employment (retention) in the selection of candidates. Without support for understanding more about evaluating the potential of a person with a disability or their needs in adjustment of selection processes related to evaluation of performance to be competitive candidates for jobs, employers will tend not to consider persons with disabilities for positions. Knowledge of how to assess performance and skill and to do it in a manner that is fair and just within the context of legislation and policy on rights and responsibilities is challenging for employers. Further to this, many articles did not examine specific types of issues in evaluating skill sets for persons with different disabilities such as hearing or vision or mental health problems. This may be related to the fact that for many of these articles the hiring selection processes was halted for many persons with disabilities at the decision making stage due to the lack of knowledge on how to assess performance, hence, the specific types of problems underscoring the evaluating of skill sets were not explicated.

The barriers related to the lack of ‘fit’ were noted in firm sizes small, medium and larger firms and expressed by employers from all sectors. Even though some larger firms or medium firms did have internal or external support in hiring persons with disabilities this was still expressed by many that this continues to be a challenge or problem. An additional issue that was expressed by employers that may provide some insight into the nature of this barrier as a challenge for employers in the hiring process relates to past performance history. Persons with disabilities who have had previous work experience and have a track record of work performance were found to be favoured more in the hiring processes by human resource personnel. However, for many persons with disabilities they may be delayed entry into the workforce due to inherent work disparities in accessing employment such as for youth with disabilities or those that have no experience in being employed with their acquired disabilities. Thus the capacity of persons with disabilities to demonstrate and / or employers to confirm performance and skills remains limited and further underpins the problems at the decision making stage of candidate selection in the hiring process.

Number 3 Employer level – Employer awareness of disability and the management of disability related issues in hiring and retention

(Comprised of strong barriers: Unfamiliarity of supervisors in the management of disability in interviews, accommodations and in performance issues such as discipline or work performance evaluations, and barriers associated with accommodation costs; and moderate barriers of disclosure of health and disability information, supervisor time, orientation and benefits costs, performance safety concerns).

This barrier relates to employer understanding of disability and their knowledge of how to interact with and what to expect of persons with disabilities. In addition, this barrier identified the lack of confidence and competence in the hiring and retention processes in addressing employment issues of persons with disabilities. For the most part this concern pertains to knowledge of responding to accommodation requests or disclosure about health or disability, which employers have no knowledge about, in the midst of interactions in interviews with a potential employment candidate. Barriers in this category also concern the ongoing knowledge of managers and supervisors in knowing how to address performance and disciplinary concerns on an ongoing basis once a person with a disability is hired. These concerns relate to the potential of newly arising accommodation needs for some persons with disabilities such as those with chronic conditions and mobility issues (e.g. Multiple Sclerosis) or persons that may experience episodic illness related to depression that may impact upon productivity in the workplace. The literature did point to the problematizing of this issue due to lack of experience, in that, some employers or organizations have never hired a person with a disability so they lack the knowledge about persons with disabilities’ capacity to work in general or what their potential work capacities consist of. Lack of knowledge also pertains to the experiences of employers who expressed that they have never had a person with a disability apply for a job in their organization. This lack of knowledge and experience in turn may contribute to the lack of confidence and lack of disability-knowledge competence of employers and their organizations. Thus, for some employers this concern maps on to the lack of initiative or intent to hire persons with disabilities due to lack of specific knowledge needed to hire or consider persons with disabilities.

Number 4 System Level – Integration of services and policies to promote hiring and retention

(Comprised of strong barrier – lack of collaborative partnerships, and moderate barriers of lack of monitoring of policy implementation, lack of access to accessible websites or tools to access internet, lack of inclusion of all PWDs in support service agencies as well as marketing to employers, lack of economic services for employers to train, lack of education services for PWDs, lack of a qualified pool or lack of qualified job applicants with disabilities)

The lack of integrated services and resources, lack of established partnerships and the lack of accessible resources for employers is raised consistently across the literature in this review. This barrier continues to exist and is identified throughout the international articles in this review even where countries have anti-discrimination or accommodation legislation and policies or human rights legislation that aims to support inclusion of persons with disability in productive work. What these barriers suggest is that resources and support networks do not necessarily exist in regions or match with the needs of different sectors or capacities of employers to find and hire persons with disabilities. Knowledge of how to access supports for groups of persons with disabilities with specific needs may also be different in urban or rural areas. Further to this, as society and work places are changing, the use of the internet and related technologies are also changing the ways that employers recruit or post jobs. Access to web based information on jobs and applying online poses challenges for persons with disabilities when web sites are not universally accessible. The internet may also be changing employer’s expectations of ways that they access all employees and if persons with disabilities are excluded from entering into the pool of possible job applicants this will further perpetuate this injustice and delay access to potentially suitable work. In some instances employers indicated if there is no monitoring when anti-discrimination or inclusion policies are enacted then this will limit the interest and participation of potential employers in establishing a plan or creating collaborative partnerships to hire persons with disabilities. In addition, this also pertains to the agencies involved in supporting employers in hiring persons with disabilities. For instance, some groups of persons with disabilities may be excluded from being marketed to employers due to the complexity of the class of disability and other issues such as being a women or an immigrant with a disability.

Barrier categories rated weak require further investigation as to their relevance to the current barriers and challenges employers face in hiring persons with disabilities. Many of these barriers may also be addressed by strategies or approaches that may be developed to ameliorate the predominant barrier clusters in the hiring processes.

4.5 Facilitators Analysis and Results

There were 12 facilitator categories that were used to analyze the frequency and nature of actions and strategies identified in the review to support employers and agencies and persons with disabilities in entering and transitioning through the hiring processes to become employed. The categories included 1. Access to information, 2. Education/awareness/experience, 3. Establishing partnerships, 4. Government support with compliance to legislation, 5. Incentives for employers, 6. Establishing an agency for the provision of accommodation services, 7. Training employment advocates, 8. Opportunities and Acquisition of skills/work experience, 9. Accommodation requirements and policy development, 10. Best practices, 11. Knowledge of legislation on accommodation and anti-discrimination, and 12. Plan for hiring persons with disabilities and for managing disclosure. The facilitators identified in the review were classified with these categories to understand the frequency of the citations that mapped with the categories, the frequency and realm of the types of literature supporting these types of facilitator categories and the perspectives across the articles that shared the same views on facilitators. The strength of the evidence was not assessed in this review. However, these results were evident inboth qualitative and quantitative studies. Many of the grey literature documents included recommendations based on what employers or persons with disabilities or agencies suggest is needed or actual tips and suggestions. In most categories the evidence and grey literature are consistent. The exception is the category of training employment advocates that was only identified in one article.

1. Access to information N= 8.

Access to information ranges from general knowledge of disability to knowledge on accessing online employment recruitment services, to inclusive practices, and information that supports the hiring processes.

2. Education/awareness/experience N=18.

Topics for inclusion begin with disability awareness training in organizations aimed to promote the planning to hire. This includes disability awareness in web design and access for recruiting and hiring persons with disabilities by Information Technology personnel, general marketing and awareness campaigns using strengths based approaches to inform the public about the potential of persons with disabilities to become employed, using mechanisms such as champions within organizations to promote understanding, awareness and accommodation within organizations that employ persons with disabilities and / or to support workplaces and employers to become more confident in working with persons with disabilities.

3. Establishing partnerships N=21.

These articles included all viewpoints on the need for partnerships. This extended to open, active and regular communications among multiple policy, service providers, consumers with disabilities, advocacy groups, members of the employment community, government agencies, etc. Partnerships were central to developing capacity within communities and sectors and to support employers who were looking to hire persons with disabilities. Some of the types of partnerships were accessing recruiting agencies to recruit and select potentially qualified individuals, and resourcing or sharing human resource specialists to promote the hiring of persons with disabilities.

4. Government support with compliance to legislation N= 6.

Types of facilitators were introducing corporate social responsibility systems to encourage a more inclusive approach to hiring, more regional ors provincial programs that might support financial and training programs to support hiring persons with disabilities, and more access to government agencies to support the uptake and use of resources. Some suggestions were to target specific sectors or industries with support to develop programs to hire and retain persons with disabilities.

5. Incentives for employers N= 9.

Primarily these included monetary or economic subsidies.

6. Establishing an agency for the provision of accommodation services N=9.

This facilitator included a coordinated and targeted service agency to provide guidance to employers on accommodation and disability related issues to solve problems and to be at no cost to employers.

7. Training employment advocates N=1

. This referred to the training of persons with disability organizations or representatives to receive training on how to be advocates from a business perspective in promoting persons with disabilities.

8. Opportunities and acquisition of skills and work experience for persons with disabilities

with a focus on internships as a facilitator to promote the hiring and promotion in N=17. Facilitators included the development of job training for persons with disabilities, internships, co-op approaches, planned early vocational employment experiences to reduce both delayed entry into work and lack of work experience knowledge, focus on soft skills for use in employment settings, dealing with disclosure and being honest in hiring practices, and access to re-training throughout the career trajectory.

9. Accommodation requirements and policy development

is a facilitator that can promote hiring N= 5. This facilitator included knowledge as well as resources to support the development of employment practices and policies in workplaces as well as to enact accommodation.

10. Best practices

that employers use in hiring persons with disabilities N=20. In short, these included: focus on work performance, prepare and adjust interview selection processes, employer involvement in developing the work integration plan for one or groups of workers with disabilities, consider the multiple factors or patterns of factors in hiring persons with disabilities such as performance, performance history and soft skills, and familiarity of specific accommodations by the employer.

11. Knowledge of legislation on accommodation and anti-discrimination legislation N= 8.

Much of the literature was specific to the ADA in the US or the DDA in the UK. Larger firms tended to be compliant with legislation. However, literature supports that knowledge of the legislation serves as a promoter towards compliance.

12. Plan for hiring PWD and managing disclosure N=15.

This facilitator included the emphasis on a top down approach to promoting inclusion, having a corporate code on disability, using guidelines for requesting accommodations in hiring processes, having a budget to support the plan, and putting in place insurance and employee assistance.


In general, the topic of barriers and challenges to hiring persons with disabilities is of global as well as national concern. There are studies from many countries on the topic and the interest in examining barriers and facilitators in the hiring processes has continued to be reported post the implementation of the ADA Act in the United States and the Charter of rights in Canada. What is also of note is the most recent attention on hiring in the grey literature relevant to the implementation of the employment standard in the Ontarians with Disability Act in Ontario (ODA). The ODA aims at accessibility and inclusion for persons with disabilities to support the enactment of their full rights as a citizen in Ontario in places where they work and conduct their social, civic, leisure, recreational, shopping and enjoyment occupations. The employment standard is intended to address many of the hiring related issues uncovered and synthesized in this review such as hiring strategies that employers might use in recruitment and retention of workers with disabilities.

The discussion overviews the relevance of the synthesis on the nature and realm of the knowledge base on barriers to hiring persons with disabilities. The first part of the discussion serves to contextualize the review and the contents. The second part will map the findings on barriers with the facilitators and identify areas for positive change toward increasing employer capacity for hiring persons with disabilities. This section attempts to provoke new ways of thinking about what can be done to progress and build on the efforts towards social change and move from advocacy to action – increasing opportunities for persons with disabilities to become employed through inclusive hiring practices. In addition specific areas for future research are identified.

5.1 Nature of the knowledge base on barriers and facilitators in evidence literature.

A broad range of journals have published information on barriers and facilitators in the hiring process. Journals on topic domains of work and rehabilitation, disability, rights, business and disability, and medically oriented journals published articles on barriers in the employment hiring practices related to hiring persons with disabilities. The journals have published both employer and person with disability perspectives on the barriers in the hiring process. In this review the majority of the studies included both barriers and facilitators, with 7 evidence articles on barriers only and 5 that focused specifically on facilitators to employment.Over the past 17 years there has been a steady increase in research on the topic of challenges in the hiring processes. The most growth occurred in the last five years – 18 of 38 articles in this review were published in this time period. Most of the studies are post implementation of legislation relevant to anti-discrimination policies or inclusion policies or human rights based policies. The study origins suggest that the highest number of articles deal with issues in the United States of America and are examining issues underscored by the implementation of the ADA. Articles of origin in the United Kingdom are post the enactment of their disability act, and in Canada they are post human rights legislation and rights to accommodation.Overall the types of studies on barriers are descriptive rather than explanatory or outcome focused. Insights into barrier types and nature were gleaned from 18 qualitative studies. Twenty studies included the use of quantitative investigations that tended to examine the frequencies of the barriers and relationships of barriers in and across different sectors and organizations. The nature of the methods used in the articles suggests that there is ample data in describing and elaborating on barriers and there is information on barriers that occur more frequently in smaller firms than in medium and larger firms. Some of the information suggests that smaller firms and medium sized firms that have limited experience with persons with disabilities need greater support in all aspects of the hiring processes. However, articles emphasize that they need to begin with the challenge of planning to hire. Other firm sizes (medium and large that have had experience with hiring persons with disabilities) have more tailored needs for knowledge services and partnerships that focus more on the actual challenges in hiring selection, retention and ongoing accommodation issues.Within the survey and other quantitative studies the majority of participants/respondents (usually they include organizational representatives or employers from different companies) ranged from 50 to 500+. This suggests that the current knowledge base includes a large number of organizational respondents. In addition, across the studies 25 out of 38 targeted perspectivesof employers or their representatives. Six included a mix of employer, person with a disability, employment agency and one offered a mix of employer and persons with disabilities, and one was only from the person with a disability perspective. These frequencies of perspectives underscoring the data suggest that the information was skewed toward the employers’ perspectives. However, what was achieved was an integrative approach to perspectives across both evidence and grey literature which also supported the understanding of barriers shared across different viewpoints. When barriers were primarily gained from or represented the views of employers the views were very open and candid. This was evident in the reporting of disability discrimination barriers wherein employers indicated that employers do discriminate against persons with disabilities due to attitudes about disability in general or by disability class (do not hire persons with mental health challenges). Further to this, employers’ views indicated that employers did not select persons with disabilities who entered into the hiring selection process due to concerns about the disability. While this may be a disturbing finding given the efforts of many advocacy organizations and the tireless work of employment agencies to overcome these barriers – they still persist and thus warrant attention in future research and in employment practice.

The analysis of sector type revealed that many articles include a mix of different work sectors. There were only 1 or 2 studies each that focused on specific work or groups of work sectors to unravel barriers. This finding suggests that the research on barriers is more general across sectors. Further study is indicated on specific challenges within sectors or sectors that might offer entry level employment opportunities for persons with disabilities.

Disability type was also examined to understand the focus of specific hiring difficulties that employers face. However most of the studies focused on disabilities broadly in their examination of barriers in the hiring process. There was a targeted focus in four articles specific to mental health conditions. This finding is consistent with the literature on the pervasive unemployment and lack of opportunities for persons with mental health challenges [Kirsch, et al. 2008; Rebeiro Gruhl, 2012]. Mental health was also noted as a class of disability that employers tend to discriminate most towards or select less in hiring processes. This barrier was also noted more with employers who lacked experience with persons with mental health challenges, and were of medium to smaller in firm size. Other articles highlighted specific barrier concerns for persons with hearing loss, vision loss or impairment and veterans with disabilities. There may be other specific areas of disability that need to be examined in the future in more detail to gain insights into what is needed to support employers in becoming more inclusive in hiring or in retaining workers with disability. Such groups may be older workers with disabilities, immigrants with disabilities, or workers with episodic disabilities.

5.2 Nature of the barriers and facilitators in grey literature.

There are numerous types of grey literature that contributed to this review and synthesis. A range of case study, reports, government publications, reviews, program descriptions and review papers and a peer reviewed publication that had a relevancy rating of 2 that were included for final analysis in the grey literature. This review included 19 documents ranging from years 1995 to 2012. Fourteen of these documents were from the most recent time period of 2007-2012. Documents had a general focus on work sectors rather than a specific sector only emphasis. Most of the documents have a strong emphasis on facilitators or actions that support employment hiring practices of planning selection and retention. Ten of the articles offered insights across the range of hiring practices. There was also a range in the perspectives / orientation of documents, some offered employers perspectives on facilitators to address barriers, some offered persons with disabilities views. Others were oriented from the view points of disability employment agencies or from government or a policy orientation. In general, most of the grey literature offered more of an inclusive approach including perspectives of many stakeholders or shared view across all perspectives.

The grey literature documents were similar to the evidence literature in that articles tended to be more relevant to all disabilities with the exception of mental health. However in the grey literature only 1 article was specific to hiring persons with mental health in the grey literature. This suggests a gap between the evidence articles and the grey literature. The evidence literature highlighted numerous articles about mental health related disabilities that resulted in work disparities and injustices in the hiring process. Development of potential hiring processes to address the needs of employers in including persons with mental health challenges is indicated.

5.3 Mapping of Barriers with Hiring Processes -What we know and gaps in the knowledge base?

This integrative synthesis of knowledge across the evidence and grey literature explicated information about the persistent nature and extensive realm of barriers relevant to hiring persons with disabilities. This mapping of systemic barriers by themes underscored that barriers prevent or lead to disengagement of employers from initiating or participating in the planning processes that could create more inclusive workplaces for persons with disabilities. A range of barriers were associated with the disengagement of employers in planning related hiring processes. Attitudes and costs were the highest cited barriers in the literature with moderate similar frequencies linked to the subsequent lack of employer experience with disability, disability specific discrimination and lack of support or incentives for considering persons with disabilities as a potential human resource pool. The pervasive disengagement and the rhetoric on barriers such as attitudes and disability discrimination is a surprising finding in light of the anti- discrimination legislation that exists in the US, the UK and accommodation and human rights legislation in Canada. This was further exemplified as a surprising finding given the extent of resources available in the grey literature that are openly accessible to workplaces through business organizations and governments, and advocacy groups who wish to use them.

The review findings in general pointed to the medium and smaller firms as more likely to experience challenges or barriers to planning. Thus, a gap that may exist is in the knowledge mobilization efforts to these groups. This gap suggests their may be a need to target firm sizes more explicitly or more efforts may be needed to look at the content of awareness campaigns that emphasize principle based policy approaches to change – such as engaging more communities of employers in the mid to small size firms in establishing corporate social responsibilities to begin to plan for the hiring of persons with disabilities.

The second hiring process that revealed limitations was within candidate selection. Barriers exist within the experience of employers who are engaged in the processes of hiring persons with disabilities. The majority of barriers map onto the decision making of candidates and recruitment processes. In decision making processes most of the barriers are related directly to explicit disability discrimination – indicating that the disability factors into the reasons not to hire persons with disabilities. What underscores this pervasive and persistent barrier is multifaceted and is addressed with the barrier salience discussion below under performance skills and capacity barriers.

Recruitment challenges for employers are much more widespread across the disability themes. However, both technology and issues related to supports for recruiting persons with disabilities point to areas that may be prioritized as areas for change. Technology relevant to using the internet for recruitment is system wide issue in terms of the lack of accessible websites and design and the exclusion of some persons with disabilities from applying for jobs who have learning or visual disabilities. Other issues may relate to the new expectations that persons with disabilities will know how to apply for and find employment online.

The last step in the hiring processes that was identified as important to employers is that of retention. Decision making process for hiring persons with disabilities includes the consideration of retention relevant to the person and their needs for accommodation, the availability of support from agencies for the costs, and economic support or incentives to make accommodations as well as access to knowledge for changing accommodations that are expected or unexpected. Thus, this finding indicates that anticipating issues that may arise over time relevant to a person with disability needs, due to the nature of the disability or related health condition, require consideration upfront. Employers need knowledge on expectations for the future when hiring a person with disability and knowledge as well as support for future needs. In the development of best practice – inclusive hiring guides for employers consideration of current and future needs is indicated. For instance, support is needed to assist employers in how to plan for employment contingencies related to changing employment needs of persons with disabilities that may include flexibility to work at home or different hours to accommodate episodic fluctuations such as those with fibromyalgia or chronic pain.

5.4 Mapping of Predominant Barriers with Facilitators – what we know and recommendations for advancing inclusive hiring practices and future research

The discussion in this section will focus on the most salient barrier clusters. In this section the barriers are mapped with the facilitators to identify areas of strength and areas for the advancement of inclusive hiring practice processes for employers.

5.4.1 What do we know about attitudinal barriers and potential solutions?

At the societal level attitudes were found in this review to be the most prominent barrier. The ongoing emphasis – the persistence of negative attitudes and the degree to which this barrier permeates and continues to shape employers’, supervisors’ and co-workers’ views about disability is concerning. This barrier suggests that renewed and ongoing knowledge transfer efforts are needed to address these views and research on this discourse is warranted. For instance, questions as to how and why the negative identity of persons with disabilities exists in society and in the workplace discourse is needed to reveal insights into the tensions and sources of this construction. The ultimate goal of this type of research is to inform areas for change in the workplace and in society to promote a positive discourse that shapes the expectations of persons with disability as workers and competitive employees.

There are facilitators identified in this review that can support renewed efforts towards the attitudinal shift towards persons with disabilities to workers with disabilities. Those facilitators are linked with training efforts to build awareness and knowledge of employers and co-workers on the capacities of persons who have disabilities, the sharing of best practices, and opportunities to gain experience with what persons with disabilities can do through successful hiring outcomes. Knowledge about disability gained through training and experience may serve as a starting point for employers who have not yet established a formal plan for hiring persons with disabilities or a formal accommodation plan (plans will be encouraged in some Ontario workplaces through the Ontarians with Disability Act -employment standard). The mechanisms for knowledge transfer and uptake by employers who have not participated in a plan may also need to be considered especially in light of the time it takes for employers to recruit and to hire employees or to integrate more inclusivity into current practices. In this review other facilitators that might be considered are related to groups of employers consolidating their efforts through collaborating as a group of employers to tap collectively into the services of human resource experts and agencies familiar with inclusive hiring practices to support the planning process. Most of the facilitators in this review are focused specifically on employers and may not address the societal attitudes at large. However, the workplace is a starting point through which attitudes may begin to shift. Future studies need to continue to tap into the realm of attitudinal barriers and examine if efforts to support employers have an impact or changing attitudes that currently underpin work disparities of persons with disabilities.

5.4.2 What do we know about employer level barriers and potential solutions?

There were two clusters of salient barriers at the employer level that are mapped with facilitators to identify ways to advance inclusive hiring practices and to inform change.The first cluster was focused on the employers need for knowledge of how to address performance and skills of persons with disabilities and match these with the demands of work carried out within workplaces. Many employers indicated that even though they had intentional hiring practices to recruit and consider persons with disabilities – they do not have enough knowledge about disability or how to assess the information they do have to decide whether or not persons with disabilities can successful perform work or if they have adequate skills. Most of the facilitators do not specifically address this gap related to helping employers become more competent in knowing how to consider ways to adjust or regroup work tasks to enable potential workers to succeed. The facilitators do however offer ways to address basic knowledge of disability and the training for employers to improve their confidence in interacting with persons with disabilities in some aspects of the hiring processes. Training options also need to include information about legislation related to anti-discrimination and human rights etc.

One way to address the barrier associated more specifically with performance and skill is to consider partnering with agencies that have experience and knowledge can assist in evaluating performance and skill sets. Another way to approach this issue suggested in the facilitator literature is to address this as an internal issue and identify an employee that could be a ‘champion’ of adjustment and accommodation related to inclusive employment related hiring and retention issues and develop this expertise over time. This may work for larger employers with resources.

Currently there are many excellent resources that offer ways to improve inclusivity in hiring. For the most part these offer generic guidelines peppered with one of two different examples across different types of disabilities. Perhaps it is time to move toward more specificity in the resources to promote employer confidence in performance and skills matching or for internal champions and / or agencies to use in working with employers who have unique needs. Further focused research might be considered to systematically pool all of the best case or practices in working with specific groups such as older persons with disabilities, or persons with mental health challenges, or persons with mobility issues, or persons with HIV or veterans with disabilities.

Beyond this other potential facilitators or solutions need to be explored given that not all employers are going to have direct access to agencies or experts when making hiring decisions. For instance, if we approached this barrier with a critical lens to ask what it is about the pervasiveness of this barrier and what has contributed to its construction we might find other solutions. We might then ask – What is it that is contributing to this barrier from employers’ and persons with disabilities’ experiences with the hiring process?. The author of this review posits that employers need more specific information relevant to different types of performance issues that are experienced within groups of persons who share similar functional or performance issues. Employers/managers need more concrete examples of how to consider ways that work could be performed through changes in work tools, processes or locations of work etc. or ways that performance might be evaluated using different approaches. Furthermore they need information on how to assess the potential of a person with a disability to perform work in the absence of having made changes to work processes or accommodations. More focused study of the types of information employers need to explore in interviews and in in-vivo situations such as internships or how to adjust probationary periods of employment to evaluate performance may be indicated. When we looked across the evidence and grey literature we did not find specific strategies that might address this gap. However understanding more about this problem can be informed by persons with disabilities who can share their knowledge and experiences in the ways that tasks have been adjusted or altered to be able to assess their performance to work. Persons with disabilities might also contribute knowledge about what questions and processes employers might use to consider gaining insight in the interview processes into their performance and skills.

The standpoint of the person with a disability must also be considered in other ways to break through this challenge of performance and skill evaluation. Earlier the issue of employment disparities were highlighted in the barrier salience section. These included delayed entry into work, the lack of opportunity to develop employment skills and lack of work experience needed to establish a history of performance that employers can use in making employment decisions. When viewed from this standpoint many persons with disabilities enter into the employment hiring processes with additional inequities that decrease possibilities of being hired. Possible solutions maybe to recognize such inequities in the beginning of the planning and recruitment processes and to establish options for planned transitions, or opportunities to develop training and experience on the job or through internships etc.

The second employer level barrier was the lack of knowledge about the management of disability issues in the hiring and retention processes. Facilitators in this review that can offer employers assistance pertain to education, access to information on disability awareness, best practices and sharing of this information among employers, and / or accessing a collaborative partnership to access information from experts. A more focused guide for employers may build on some of the current resources to develop more targeted supports for hiring and retaining persons with disabilities. Such a guide or guides of best practice(s) might include a variety of approaches to handle health issues or disclosure in the interview process that may be useful or applicable in different situations. Reflected in this review is that persons with mental health challenges experience more injustices than other disability groups in the hiring processes. This is one example of an area that may require a more focused guide for employers to gain more knowledge about the hiring and retention processes as well as an area to develop best case examples across each step of the hiring process. Evidence informed strategies that can support retention are also needed, such as how to conduct annual performance evaluations or dealing with disciplinary issues etc.

5.4.3. What do we know about partnerships and future directions?

The last barrier cluster with strong salience was the lack of access to an integrated approach to services and policies to support inclusive hiring practices of employers. This was evident across the range of employer needs from planning to those who are active in recruitment and hiring. There were many suggestions within the facilitators that support partnering as a means to exchange knowledge or to access specialized knowledge when needed as well as to knowledge on incentives to support employer engagement in inclusive practices. While the facilitators suggested many different types of partnerships that might offer an intricate network of supports there were only a few examples of best case scenarios that described how this might look or be enacted. Suggestions in the literature review spanned issues of integrated approaches where in the employer could be part of the community or system approach that linked education supports and support for training on the job, with programs that offer incentives for internships or employment skills related to electronic recruitment, as well as access to government or policy levers to support the hiring of persons with disabilities etc. Further research on what supports are being accessed by Canadian employers are indicated to further identify the realm of partnerships that work for what employers and by size of firm and how these are enacted to support positive inclusive hiring practices. Areas for future research might also investigate how employers go about setting up partnerships to develop inclusive hiring and retention employment practices,what are the catalysts for change? – for instance does legislation or policy such as the ODA act as a catalyst?, what are the champions of support internal with organizations etc. , and what are the outcomes?.

5.5 Research Implications

In general, in conducting this review we have noted that research with employers and organizations about specific barriers to hiring within their workplace is challenging. One of the challenges in conducting research with employers is the fear or concern of reporting information that may place the organization in a negative light and / or in turn negatively impact productivity or performance. Hence, some researchers have addressed this by asking for information in surveys or qualitative interviews about the barriers to hiring within a sector of work. By asking for information on what are the barriers experienced in hiring persons with disabilities in a sector more employers are willing to discuss what they perceive to be the barriers and some of the barriers are based on ‘real’ experiences. Using a sector as the basis of inquiry helps to maintain the confidentiality of the individual employer/organization. This insight into the nature of data collection from employers suggests that research processes in and of themselves need to address the potential barriers that may exclude employer participation and thus limit the collection of critical information that might otherwise support change processes in the hiring of persons with disabilities.

Research on facilitators is more descriptive than causal or outcome focused. This reflects the state of the literature as the interest in inclusive hiring practices has only begun to grow significantly in the last five years. Future research needs to build on the current descriptive examples and move towards more outcome based research on what is working and then what do we need to do more of. Thus, if partnering and collaboration is a bench mark for success we need to know more about what types of partnerships and processes actually improve inclusivity in hiring practices within employment sectors.



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Table 1 Evidence Citation, Article, Year Journal Title Study Type Work Sector Firm Size Perspective Disability Type Focus Hiring Process
[1] Wiggett-Barnard &Swartz, 2012, South Africa Disability & Rehabilitation Quantitative Survey Mixed Mixed Employer General B & F Mixed 1,2,3
[2] Rudstam et al.,2012,USA[3] Jans et al., 2012, USA Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation Journal of Occupational Quantitative Survey Qualitative Mixed Mixed Mixed NA Employer PTSD & TBIGeneral B & FB & F PlanningSelection-Interview-
Rehabilitation Grounded Person with Disability Disclosure
[4] Houtenville & Cornell Hospitality Theory Quantitative Service Mixed Employer NA B & F Mixed 1,2
Kalargyrou, 2012, USA[5] Brohan et al., 2012, UK Quarterly BMC Psychiatry Survey Literature Service NA Mixed Mental Health F Selection-Candidate-
Review SR & Disclosure
[6] Kaye et al., 2011,USA Journal of Occupational Quantitative Skilled Mixed Mixed Employer NA B & F Mixed 1,2,3,4
Rehabilitation Survey
[7] Wang et al., 2010, USA Rehabilitation Quantitative Mixed Mixed Employer Vision B & F Selection-Skills
[8] Fraser et al., 2010, USA PsychologyJournal of Occupational RCT Qualitative Mixed Mixed Employer General B & F TestingMixed 1,2
Rehabilitation Undefined
[9] Chan, et al., 2010, USA Journal of Occupational Mixed Mixed Mixed Employer General B Planning
[10] Ren et al., 2008, USA RehabilitationHuman Resource Methods Literature Mixed NA Employer General B & F Selection-Candidate
[11] Lengnick-Hall et al., Management Review Human Resource Review SR Qualitative Mixed Mixed Employer General F Mixed 1,2
2008 , USA[12] Hernandez et al., 2008, USA Management Employee Responsibilities and Undefined Qualitative Undefined Service Mid Employer NA F Mixed 1,2,3
Rights Journal
[13] Spirito Dalgin & Bellini,2008, USA[14] Tsang et al., 2007, US, China Rehabilitation Counseling Bulletin Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Quantitative Experimental Qualitative Undefined NA Mixed NA Small Employer Employer GeneralMental Health FB Selection-Candidate- DisclosureSelection-Candidate- Partnering
[15] Ozawa & Yaeda, 2007, Epidemiology Journal of Vocational Quantitative Mixed Mid Employer Mental Health B & F Selection-
Japan Rehabilitation Survey Recruitment-
[16] Jongbloed et al., 2007,Canada[17] Groschl, 2007, Canada Work International Journal of Quantitative Survey Qualitative NA Service NA Large Person With Disability Employer SCINA B & FB & F MixedPlanning
Hospitality Undefined
[18] Duff et al., 2007, UK Management British accounting Qualitative Knowledge Small Employer General B Mixed 1,2
[19] Hand & Tryssenaar, reviewPsychiatric Undefined Mixed Mixed Small Employer Mental Health B & F Mixed
2006, Canada[20]Stefan, 2005, Canada Rehabilitation Journal Cornell Hotel and Methods Quantitative Service Large Mixed NA B & F Mixed 1,2
Restaurant Case Study



[21] Jacoby et al., 2005, UK Epilepsia Quantitative Mixed Mixed Employer Neurological B & F Mixed 1,2
Survey (Stroke,
Etc), Epilespy
[22] Gervey & Kowal, 2005,USA Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal Quantitative Observational NA NA Person With Disability Mental Health B Mixed 2,3
[23] Smits, 2004, USA Disability & Society Study Mixed NA NA Mixed NA B Mixed 1,2
[24] Killeen & O’Day, 2004, Psychiatric Methods Qualitative NA NA Person With Mental Health B Selection-Partnering
USA[25] Gilbride et al., 2003, USA Rehabilitation Journal Rehabilitation Counseling Bulletin Undefined Qualitative Grounded Mixed Mixed Disability Mixed General F Mixed 1,2,3
[26]Stevens, 2002, UK Disability & Society Theory Mixed Service Mixed Employer General B & F Mixed 1,2
Methods &
[27] Greenan et al., 2002, Journal of Technology Quantitative NA NA Employer NA B Planning
USA[28] Graffam et al., 2002, StudiesJournal of Vocational SurveyQuantitative Mixed Mixed Employer General B & F Selection-
Australia Rehabilitation Survey Recruitment-
[29] Bishop, 2002, USA Journal of Vocational Qualitative NA NA Person With Neurological B & F CandidateSelection-Disclosure
Rehabilitation Undefined Disability (Stroke,
[30] Laroche et al., 2000, Journal of the Academy Qualitative Service Mixed Mixed Etc)Hearing B & F Selection-Candidate
Canada of Rehabilitative Undefined &Lowsk
[31] Jackson et al., 2000, AudiologyJournal of Occupational Quantitative illedMixed Mixed Employer General B & F Mixed 1,2
UK and Organizational Survey
[32] Duckett, 2000, UK Disability & Society Qualitative Mixed NA Person With General B & F Selection-Candidate
[33] Bricout & Bentley, Social Work Research EnthnographyQuantitative Mixed Mixed DisabilityEmployer General B & F Selection-Candidate
2000, USA Survey
[34] Scheid, 1999, USA Behavioral Sciences & Quantitative Mixed Mixed Employer Mental Health B & F Mixed 1,2
[35] Koser et al., 1999, USA the LawNorth American Journal SurveyQuantitative Knowle Mixed Employer General B & F Selection-Candidate-
of Psychology Survey dge Skills
[36] Hayes & Macan, 1997, Journal of Business Qualitative Govern NA Person With NA B & F Selection-Interview-
USA and Psychology Undefined ment Disability, Candidate
[37] Diksa & Rogers, 1996, Rehabilitation Quantitative Mixed Mixed EmployerEmployer Mental Health B & F Mixed 1,2
USA[38] Hayes & Macan, 1995, Counseling BulletinRehabilitation SurveyMixed Govern Mixed Mixed General B & F Selection-Interview-

USA Psychology Methods ment Candidate


Table 2 GreyLiterature Citation, Author, Year, Location DocumentType WorkSector Perspective/orientation DisabilityType Focus Hiring Process Purpose
[39] Freden et al., Case Study Mixed Employer General B&F Mixed This report looks at the un- and under-
2013, Canada & Report employment of PWD and aims to assist
employers in building inclusive work
environments for PWD, within a Canadian
context. Case examples were used to highlight
the experiences of PWD and employers who hire
them. There are sections on dispelling myths
regarding PWD, accessible workspaces, and the
business case (i.e. what companies do to create
inclusive workplaces).
[40] Chenier & Government Mixed Government General F Mixed The toolkit’s purpose is to provide practical
Vellone, 2012,Canada Document Policy advice to employers about the implementationof the Employment Standard. It includes
resources such as checklists, tips and techniques,
links to other resources, case studies of
businesses, and tips for small businesses to help
employers implement accessible employment
strategies and practices.
[41] Soucy et al., Report Mixed Government General B&F Planning This document highlights the current situation
2012, Canada Policy and programs accessible to employment for
persons with a disability in New Brunswick. The
report also outlines a strategic plan and goals and
recommendation for action in order to improve
the employment supports and practices for the
disabled community.
[42] France-Massin & Case Study Mixed Employer, General B&F NA This document is a compilation of 12 case studies
Evans-Klock, 2011,Europe GovernmentPolicy of employers’ organizations and businessesdescribing their activities related to disability and
employment. The purpose is to educate
employers, organizations, workers, ILO staff,
people with disabilities, and others about the
inclusion of disabled people in the workplace.
Each case study includes a description of the
organization and their disability-related activities
and outcomes.
[43] P.B. Equity and Government Mixed Government General B&F Selection The aim of this literature review is to explore the
Diversity Directorate,2011, Canada Document Policy barriers to the recruitment of PWDs, in both thepublic and private sectors and in Canada and


abroad. The report also aims to determine what strategies, best practices, tools and resources have been developed to reach this labour pool and to discuss improvements.
[44] Prinz et al., 2010, Policy Doc NA Government NA B&F Mixed This document explains the low employment rate
Canada Policy for those with disability in European countries.
The steps taken to improve these rates by
various countries are explained, as well as further
policy directions.
[45] Prinz, Kim & Report Mixed Disability General B&F Mixed This report outlines policies and issues affecting
Gomes, 2010, Agency Or sickness and disability. Three chapters
Canada Rehabilitation Ageny, respectively look the current situation and key trends and policy evolution in the decade,
Government Canada’s key sickness and disability policy
Policy challenges and possible improvements, and
lastly, what is needed in the short and long-term
to make reforms successful
[46] Hargreaves, Report NA Employer General F NA This document acts as a guide for employers
2010, Canada when hiring PWD. It begins by answering the
question “why hire people with disabilities?” by
looking at the benefits to the employer. There
are sections on employment equity and labour
force attachment, disclosure/privacy and
communication, and recruitment and training.
There is anecdotal evidence throughout the
guide and concludes with key points for ensuring
the success of PWD in the workplace.
[47] Allen, 2010, Case Study Mixed Employer General B&F Mixed This document was a write-up of roundtable
Canada. & Report discussions that brought together businesses,
special interests groups, government, and
employees to create a dialogue about challenges
in the workplace and develop recommendations
for businesses. The “dialogue on diversity”
highlighted issues that PWD face, such as
accessibility of job opportunities, when/how
much to disclose about a disability, how to deal
with “invisible” disabilities (mental health issues),
and facing attitudinal barriers in the workplace.
The company Deloitte is used as a case example
of a company that accommodates PWD.
[48] Greve, 2009, Case Study Mixed Not NA B&F NA This document is a review of reports and

Europe & Report Applicable


research studies in Europe. It includes trends in employment policies and employment information of PWD, active labour market policies and what that means for PWD, and the
concept and use of “mainstreaming” to ensure
that PWD are integrated into the workplace.
There is a discussion of best practices, with
examples that highlight countries and policies
that encourage the employment of PWD.
[49] Naraine & Qualitative Mixed Person With General B Mixed This report looks at the barriers that PWDs face
Persaud, 2008, Undefined Disability, within the Scarborough and East Toronto
Canada Employer,Disability Agency Or community. Recommendations to improve the employment situation are also discussed.
n Ageny,
[50] OECD Report Mixed Employer General B Mixed This report outlines the employment situation in
Publishing, 2008, European countries and looks to address the
Denmark, Finland,Ireland, Netherlands gaps. It also describes ways to improve job creation and retention for marginalized
populations including persons with disability.
[51] Government of Program NA Government NA F Mixed This provincial government document provides a
Saskatchewan, 2007, Description Policy guideline to understanding disability support
Canada &Government services. The framework was designed from the perspective of the impact that disability has on a
Document person’s ability (and inclusion at work). The focus
is on supports for PWD and is not limited to work
environments (also includes economic,
transportation, housing, and education). The
document provides a summary of
recommendations for improving the support of
PWD and actions that have occurred to date.
[52] OECD Report Mixed Not General B&F Mixed This book chapter looks at employment policies
Publishing, 2007, Applicable regarding PWD in Spain, Luxembourg, Australia,
Australia, and the UK. The chapter draws comparisons
Luxembourg, Spain, across the countries, focusing on steps that have

United Kingdom


been taken to include PWD, employers, and government authorities in supporting PWD at work in cost-effective ways. Areas of discussion

include the suitability and availability of support


for PWD and access to services. Recommendations are also provided improve the quality of employment services for PWD.
[53] T.S.C.a.t.D.W. Report Profes Person With General B&F NA This report describes a study addressing
Group, 2005, Canada sional Disability challenges that law students and lawyers with
disabilities face. The report includes an in-depth
review of studies and literature on the topic in
Canada and the US. The study discusses barriers
the law school students and lawyers including:
discrimination, prejudice, and access barriers and
makes suggestions for to address them (such as
developing individual accommodation plans and
mentorship programs)
[54] Wright, 2001, Case Study NA Employer General B&F Mixed This guide was developed to assist employers in
Canada & Report hiring PWD and integrating them into the
workplace. Chapters cover topics such as:
developing an inclusive workplace, where/how to
start the transition of actively hiring PWD and
eliminating barriers, proactive recruitment and
selection strategies, and integration of PWD into
the workplace. There are 9 case studies profiling
various companies in the guide and a section that
highlights specific disabilities and
accommodations that such disabilities require
(physical, hearing, visual, psychiatric,
learning/cognitive, intellectual)
[55] Rueda & Descriptive Servic Disability NA B&F This paper describes a multidisciplinary
Zabalgogeascoa, Paper e Agency Or intervention, CENDI developed for vocational
1998, Europe Rehabilitation Agency rehabilitation (VR) program to promote the employment of people with physical and/or
sensory disabilities in the open labour market in
a province in Spain. The paper also focuses on
the importance of mediation actions, marketing
and job finding activities as key elements and
promotes the role of VR.
[56] Warner & Literature NA Disability Mental B This review of literature looks at the barriers
McAlpine, N.D., USA Review Agency Or Health faced by persons with a mental illness in four
Rehabilitation Agency areas: illness characteristics, client characteristics, access to services and mental
health treatment and characteristics of the

workplace and lour market. The report concludes


the need for vocational programs.
[57] Taking Action: Report NA Employer, General B&F This guide acts as a resource for businesses to
An HR Guide, in Government encourage the employment and retention of
Hiring and RetainingEmployees with Policy PWD. The document begins with a positive look at how PWDs can add to, and improve, work
Disabilities, N.D.,Canada. environments and provides a definition of
“disability”. There is a section on identifying and
removing barriers, with more focus on physical
barriers than attitudinal ones and a large section
on “disability etiquette” that addresses
recruitment strategies and selection processes,
disclosure, accommodation, training, and
advancement. There are also templates and
guidelines to assist employers in accommodating

Table 3 Facilitators

Facilitator Article or document number Perspectives represented
1. Access to information N=8 4 ,5,9,27,36,38,41,42 ☼
2. Education/awareness/experience N=18 1,4,5,6,8,9,15,18,19,20,24,34,40,41,42,43,54,55 ☼
3.Establishing partnerships N=22 1,8,12,16,17,18,20,22,23,24,25,27,28,40,41,42,43,45,49,50,52,55 ☼
4.Government support with compliance to legislation N=6 20, 30, 43, 45, 50, 52 ☼
5.Incentives for employers N=9 4, 6, 8, 17, 27, 41,45, 52, 55 â–  â—Š â—˜
6. Establishing an agency for the provision of accommodation services N=6 6, 27, 41, 43, 52, 53
  • â—˜
7. Training employment advocates N=1 43 â—˜
8. Opportunities and Acquisition of skills/work experience N=17 1,3, 4, 12, 13, 16, 20, 23, 25, 26, 27,36,41,42,43,52, 55 ☼
9. Accommodation requirements and policy development N=5 3, 4,6,28,40 â–  â–² â—˜
10. Best practices N=20 1,3,4,6,9,10,12,14,17,18,23,25,28,30,34,40,41,42,43,55 ☼
11. Knowledge of legislation on accommodation and anti- discrimination N=8 5, 18,23,34,40,42,45, 52 ☼
12. Plan for hiring PWD and managing disclosure N=15 1,4,5,6,17,20,25,30,34,38,40,42,43,49,55 ☼


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