When you are disabled it can be really frustrating to find employment! Often times when you are going into an interview as a disabled person who has some physical challenges you are often turned down because of your disability. You may have all the qualifications but because of your disability, some employers make false assumptions of you because when they meet you they see your disability and not you as a person. People who are physically disabled often times are capable of more than you think and these false assumptions can be hurtful.
We are so darn grateful for being employed- Finding a job can be really difficult when you are disabled and sometimes can take months or even years before we finally get hired. If you have been searching for a job a while and finally get hired it can be really exciting to get to end the job search! Sometimes when you find a job what you thought was your dream job isn’t and is making you miserable and want to quit. Disabled people who are employed are happy to have a job but we aren’t so darn grateful for our jobs that we will stay at them forever. Disabled people will stay at there jobs just as long as an abled person will and if you treat us poorly we will stay at them long enough to get the skills and experience we need to apply to another job. Never assume that just by hiring a disabled person that we will stay at them longer because it’s simply not true!
We need a bunch of expensive modifications- Sometimes employers will not hire us because they are afraid they will have to pay for a bunch of expensive modifications so we can do our job well. Some people with physical disabilities may need reasonable accommodations such as a larger workspace or lower filing cabinets but that may not be the case for all disabilities. Depending on what disability you have you may need little to no modifications so never assume that hiring a disabled person is going to be super expensive and put a hole in your wallet because chances are it’s going to be cheaper than you think!
We will sue at the drop of a hat- If you hire us and we are lazy, forgetting deadlines or using company time as personal time then don’t be afraid to fire us! Just like you can fire an abled person without having to worry about being sued you can fire a disabled person without that same worry. Disabled people don’t go around suing people for no reason so unless you have discriminated against us, or done something unlawful or unjust we will not sue you because we have better things to do with our time! Yes, we may get angry that you fired us(so would an abled person) but we won’t sue you if we don’t have a legitimate reason to do so. Disabled people have to obey the rules in there jobs just like an abled does and if they aren’t doing that then let them go and find someone who can.
We have more sick days- Disabled people do not take any more sicks days than an abled person does and even though we may face some challenges that does not mean we are unhealthy and go to the doctor all the time. Some disabled people will have weaker immunes systems so they may get sick more easily and have to take more time off but as for most of us, we don’t take any more time off than an abled person would.
We are incapable of doing the job well- Depending on someone’s disability sometimes it may take us a little bit longer to complete a task but we are perfectly capable of completing tasks just as effectively as your abled employees. Sometimes we may need certain accommodations so we can do our job well but that does not mean we are incapable of doing them.
We are pity hires- There should never be pity hires! If you are an employer that thinks that hiring a disabled person is the right thing to do I am here to tell you that the right thing to do is to hire someone who is qualified to do the job not hire someone you felt bad for. It is harder for a disabled person to find employment but if you hire us out of pity you are doing us a disservice because we may miss out on some great job opportunities that may have been a better fit. Some employers will hire a disabled person out of pity but not all of them do and those are the employers I have huge amounts of respect for!
Hiring a disabled person is not as scary as you may think but unfortunately disabled people often times are not given a chance because of some of the false assumptions employers make of us. People see our disability before they see anything else so we don’t ever get a chance to prove ourselves. Making false assumptions of a disabled person is hurtful and often times your assumptions are wrong! Instead of assuming we can’t do anything productive ask us what we can do and what our limitations are. You may be surprised at some of the things you may learn because more often than not we are able to do more for ourselves than you think we are. If you have any questions about myths of hiring disabled people please leave them in the comments below.