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American with Disabilities Act and the Workplace

In spite of the passage of the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) almost 15 years ago, which was designed to protect the rights of individuals with disabilities in the workplace (Colella, Paetzold and Belliveau 1), they are still significantly underrepresented in the American workforce (Hunt and Hunt 267). The participation of disabled individuals in the workforce is important for several reasons. Due to the increase in life expectancies and advances in medical technology, the number of people with disabilities is likely to increase over the next few years. Already, they constitute 20 percent of the U.S. population, or 54 million people. Therefore, their unemployment and underemployment have adverse financial and non-financial consequences for society in general (Hunt and Hunt 267).

As pointed out by the economist Douglas Kruse, the employment of one million more people with disabilities will lead to the annual increase in $21.2 billion of earned income; a $1.2 billion decrease in means-tested cash income payments and a $1.8 billion decrease in Supplemental Security Income (qtd. in Hunt and Hunt 267). Companies can also benefit from having a diverse group of qualified employees who are less likely to move from job to job. Employees with disabilities, as compared with their non-disabled colleagues, also tend to have "lower rates of absenteeism,… and equal or higher performance ratings" (Hunt and Hunt 268). From a social perspective, providing employment to people with disabilities can also enhance their overall quality of life by reducing their social isolation and promoting their self-esteem (Hunt and Hunt 268).

In the remainder of this paper, the challenges confronted by people with disabilities in the workforce will be examined. More importantly, the following organizational strategies and practices that will enhance their participation in the workforce will be identified and discussed: educational interventi...

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American with Disabilities Act and the Workplace. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 13:32, December 02, 2020, from