Young business woman with a disability working with a colleague

Assessing the Climate of Disability Inclusion in the Workplace

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Research Summary


The Abbreviated Disability Inclusion Scale can be used as part of an assessment battery in demand-side employment research for model testing, as well as an outcome measure in intervention research. Researchers evaluated the measurement structure of disability inclusion climate and disability inclusion preparedness in the Scale. They learned that higher levels of disability inclusion were associated with lower levels of employer stigma.

Key Findings

The use of disability inclusion training and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accommodations has a significant relationship to positive disability inclusion in the workplace. Here are some key findings from recent research:

  • 67% of U.S. organizations report the use of diversity training; however, the focus of many of those trainings is less on disabilities and more on gender, sexual orientation, race and ethnicity.
  • 54% of surveyed employers said they have had ADA training.
  • Only 19% of companies in the U.S. reported employing people with disabilities, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Put It Into Practice

Tips and tools to help you apply best practices at work.

Vocational rehabilitation agencies and counselors can influence disability inclusion in the workplace. Here are some tips:

    • Boost focus on the needs of the employers.
    • Increase employers’ awareness and practices for disability inclusion.
    • Train employers, organizations, and companies to develop their understanding of ADA regulations and accommodations.
    • Facilitate or provide disability-centered diversity and sensitivity training for employees and employers.

More About This Research

Researchers held six focus groups and conducted an online survey with 138 human resource, department, and project managers across various small and large businesses in a variety of industries.

Learn More

Iwanaga, K.; Chen, X.; Wu, J.R.; Lee, B.; Chan, F.; Bezyak, J. Grenawalt, T.A., & Tansey, T.N.; (2018). Assessing disability inclusion climate in the workplace: A brief report. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 49 (2), 265-271.