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Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services

Myths and Facts About Hiring People with Disabilities

Myths are roadblocks that interfere with the ability of people with disabilities to have equality in employment. These roadblocks usually result from a lack of experience and interaction with persons with disabilities. This lack of familiarity has nourished negative attitudes concerning employment of persons with disabilities. Listed below are some common myths and the facts that tell the real story.

Hiring employees with disabilities increases workers compensation insurance rates. Insurance rates are based solely on the relative hazards of the operation and the organizations accident experience, not on whether workers have disabilities.
Employees with disabilities have a higher absentee rate than employees without disabilities. Studies by firms such as DuPont show that employees with disabilities are not absent any more than employees without disabilities.
People with disabilities are inspirational, courageous, and brave for being able to overcome their disability. Inspiration, courage and bravery come from all perspectives and all facets of life. Individuals can find inspiration in many ways.  Even though, we all come from different personal and professional backgrounds, there are challenges and barriers for all and it is up to each person to determine their attitude in moving forward.
People with disabilities need to be protected from failing. People with disabilities have a right to participate in the full range of human experiences including success and failure. Employers should have the same expectations of, and work requirements for, all employees.
People with disabilities have problems getting to work. People with disabilities are capable of supplying their own transportation by choosing to walk, use a car pool, drive, take public transportation, or a cab. Their modes of transportation to work are as varied as those of other employees.
People with disabilities are unable to meet performance standards, thus making them a bad employment risk. In 1990, DuPont conducted a survey of 811 employees with disabilities and found 90% rated average or better in job performance compared to 95% for employees without disabilities. A similar 1981 DuPont study which involved 2,745 employees with disabilities found that 92% of employees with disabilities rated average or better in job performance compared to 90% of employees without disabilities.
People who are deaf make ideal employees in noisy work environments. Loud noises of a certain vibratory nature can cause further harm to the auditory system. People who are deaf should be hired for all jobs that they have the skills and talents to perform. No person with a disability should be prejudged regarding employment opportunities.
Considerable expense is necessary to accommodate workers with disabilities. Most workers with disabilities require no special accommodations and the cost for those who do is minimal or much lower than many employers believe. Studies by the Job Accommodation Network have shown that 15% of accommodations cost nothing, 51% cost between $1 and $500, 12% cost between $501 and $1,000, and 22% cost more than $1,000.
Employees with disabilities are more likely to have accidents on the job than employees without disabilities. In the 1990 DuPont study, the safety records of both groups were identical.

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