1. People with disabilities call in sick often.
Companies think that people with disabilities get sick often due to their disability. This is usually not true for most people. First of all, if a person with a disability is sick often, they would not try to find a job. If they apply for a job and come in for an interview, they are really motivated to work. When I worked, every year in December, I had to take days off or lose them because I could carry only fifteen vacation days over to the following year. I knew other people who had a disability and had to take days off in December for the same reason as I had.
2. The work is too much for the person so we can’t hire them.
Again this is funny because how can the people who are hiring know what the people with disabilities could or could not do. It is like telling someone could or could not do without knowing the individual. Sometimes I would have to ask my manager for more work because I was getting bored at work. At the company that I worked at, we had diversity groups that we could set up. So, I set up a diversity group for employees with disabilities or employees who had a family member with a disability. The work for this group was on top of our regular work. We had about four people with a disability in the group.
3. The person with a disability will cause the health insurance to go up.
I don’t know if this is true or not, but if the person comes to work every day and does not take time off, how would they raise the health insurance? People have the notion that people with disabilities get really sick often. Some people with disabilities might require some medical stuff but they don’t cost many thousands of dollars every year. Let’s just say that their medical supplies is really expensive, but the work of the person is above the average. Would the company make more money with the individual? If it is so, the person with a disability is really contributing to the bottom line.
4. The person with a disability might require some modifications to the work place and the company can’t pay for it.
First of all, if the work place has to be modified, it is a tax write off because you are hiring a person with a disability. Actually I heard one time that if the company has a certain percentage of people with disabilities, it was another tax write off. If it this is true, why wouldn’t companies want to hire people with disabilities just for the tax break. If the person with a disability needs a few modifications, how hard is that? For me, I just needed several things modified. First, I needed the desk to be raised. It is easy because the cubicle is adjustable so they could put the desk at any height that I wanted. This was one time modification if they didn’t move me.
The second modification was a touch monitor. Now it is really easy to get. I have gone without a touch monitor for years so I could go without it for a while. The last thing is a key guard for the keyboard. It allows me from pressing multiple keys at one time. Some people with disabilities need wider stall in the bathroom or an extra grab bar in the stall. If the company is following the ADA (American Disability Act), the bathrooms already should have a stall for people with disabilities.
5. We have such a fast pace here that we don’t think the person could keep up with us.
Well, how do you know that the person with a disability can’t keep up? Did you ask the person or did you decide this on your own? For me, the first few years were really easy for everybody. Then there were some hard deadlines. Everybody had to work faster and smarter. It included me. I could have just continue the normal pace or took it as a challenge to keep my promise to the company that I would make sure my work was done on time and working to how the users wanted it. The company has to ask themselves if somebody new could keep up whether or not if the person has a disability. I have given you five myths about employees with disabilities in the work force. There are many more myths to talk about and you can come up more yourself.
All I am trying to do is say that people with disabilities are not hopeless. They are human beings with a desire to work like any other person, and companies just need to give them a chance to work. Maybe you hire somebody remarkable and might do something great for your company. I found this video that proves my myths. For the record, I found this video after I wrote this blog.