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6Disability Discrimination

Disability Discrimination


Disability discrimination is a situation in which an individual with any form of disability such as physical, intellectual, neurological and sensory disability is treated in a less favorable manner as compared to an individual without any form of disability in similar circumstances and this seems to be a common issue in today’s workplaces. A great number of organizations fail to employ or discriminate against those with disability since they are of the opinion that, they will be forced to incur additional charges for them to accommodate the disabled in their workplaces. It is against the law to discriminate individuals who have disability and as a matter of fact, they ought to be offered with similar opportunities like the other individuals who are not disabled.

Brief summary of case

The case states that, it is a very daunting task for business to employ individuals with any form of disability. There has been an increase in number of individuals who are in the disability support pension (DSP) and this number had risen by about 280% of the last 30 years. About 31% of people with disability participate in the Australian labor force and this number is low when compared to 88% of those who are not disabled. Additionally, about 50% of those who are disabled are likely to be employed when compared to the others without disability (Case study n.d, p. 570).

Since the 2000s the employment of people with disability has been noted to be on the decline despite the introduction of the Disability Discrimination Act 1992. This argument is further supported by Sue O’Reilly when she states that, a great number of people with disabilities are usually excluded from the employment opportunities and at the same time actively discriminated upon by the employers (Case study n.d, p. 570). Most employers engage in implicit and explicit discrimination against those with disabilities due to concerns related to workplace disruption, occupational health and safety, anticipated expensive modification to accommodate the disabled and legal obligation. But in reality, the workplaces can be modified for less than $500. After the “What does it program” there was a notable increase of about 376% in employment of disabled people in Melbourne. Woolworth also produced a how to guide to be used by organizations about employment of people with disabilities. Woolworths also attained a lot of recognition by being part of the “What does it program” and was rewarded by the Australian Human Resource institute (Case study n.d, p. 571).


Why is employing individuals with disabilities an important issue?

The employment of individuals with disabilities is an important issue in that; it has a wide range of benefits that organizations can benefit from. In this regard, organizations that employ people with disability are likely to have a larger talent pool (Schur 2009, p. 400). Organizations that are reluctant when it comes to the inclusion of the disabled individuals in their recruitment efforts tend to limit their own access to talented workers. Additionally, by employing individuals with disabilities, it can act as a good marketing tool for the organization. Customers with disabilities, their immediate families, associate and friends represent a great market segment. They like all the other market segments that are available in the modern market tend to make purchases from organizations that meet their needs fully (Schartz, Hendricks and Blanck 2006, p. 347). In relation to these, Woolworths and other companies can achieve greater sales and revenue by employing the disabled. There is also another group of individuals who are of the idea of patronizing organizations that hire individuals with disabilities. Additionally, by employing the disabled in the organizations, organizations can benefit in that they may increase their opportunity of gaining and attracting a lasting customer base and this will be of great benefit to the organization now and in the future (Reina, Adya, Blanck 2007, p.100).

Lastly, by hiring disable people an organization can prevent any kind of legal problems in relation to discrimination since the in Australia and other countries there are laws against discrimination of people with disability, for instance, the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 in Australia. By employing the disabled, an organization will limit their risk of lawsuits which may have immeasurable harm for example damage of an organization reputation and financial losses (Inge 2008, p. 68).

What is the likely impact of employing individuals with disabilities on either employee job attitudes or motivation?

Employing individuals with disabilities may have a major impact on employee motivation and job attitudes. By working with people with disabilities, other employees will be motivated to work better and effectively since they may feel that they can perform better as compared to the disabled employee in the work place (Jette 2006, p. 727).

Another impact relates to the fact that when an employee individual is employed in an organization they tend to be motivated and work to their full potential. Employees with disabilities tend to be more aware of how difficulty it is for them to look and secure a job and thus tend to compensate some of their defects with various efforts. This eventually have an impact on their job attitudes since they tend to be positive and work towards the achievement of the goals that have been set. The limitation and hurdles that they encounter when undertaking their task makes them more motivated and thus they are not likely to leave the organizations (Blanck et al 2007, p. 330).


In conclusion, employment of the disabled seems to be an issue that should be addressed. Organizations need to employ and not discriminate the disabled in the society but offer them a chance to earn a living by working as opposed to receiving pensions from the government. Organizations need to take note of the benefits that they are likely to achieve by employing the disabled and take advantage of the situation by employing the disabled. For example, they may evade legal actions due to discrimination and create a group of loyal customers which eventually translates to into increased sales and revenue for their organizations in the future.


Blanck, P, Adya, M, Myhill, WN, Samant, D & Chen P 2007, ‘Employment of people with disabilities — twenty-five years back and ahead, Law and Inequality’, A Journal of Theory & Practice, vol. 25, no. 2, pp. 323–353.

Case study n.d, Woolworths: What it does takes

Inge, K 2008, ‘Choice and customized employment: a critical component’, Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, vol. 28, pp. 67-70.

Jette, AM 2006, ‘Toward a common language for function, disability, and health’, Physical Therapy, vol. 86, no. 5, pp. 726-734.

vol. 8, pp. 95-104.Georgetown Journal of International AffairsReina, MV, Adya, M & Blanck, P 2007, ‘Defying double discrimination’,

vol. 27, pp. 345–354. WorkSchartz, H, Hendricks, DJ & Blanck, P 2006, ‘Workplace accommodations: Evidence-based outcomes’,

, vol. 48, no. 3, pp. 381-410. Industrial RelationsSchur, L, Kruse, D, Blasi, J & Blanck P 2009, ‘Is disability disabling in all workplaces?: Disability, workplace disparities, and corporate culture’,