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Employees with Disabilities: Myths and Truths

Why hire people with disabilities?

People with disabilities are great employees. They are tenacious and have overcome many barriers. Years of following medication and physical therapy regimes give them an above average work ethic. Having to make adjustments in their homes, families, and school means they know what they need to be fantastic employees. Showing a commitment to a diverse and equitable workplace improves employee morale and work satisfaction resulting in better sales, production, and employee retention. Consumers are more likely to purchase products and services from businesses that employ people with disabilities.

  1. Hiring People with Disabilities aligns with the Canadian economic and social future.

  2. People with disabilities gain financial freedom, respect, dignity, and acceptance.

  3. Decreased reliance on financial assistance; they become tax players!

  4. Access to employees with a variety of talents and experience.

  5. People with disabilities are a reliable and dedicated labour resource.

Read more to dispel employment myths and grow your business by employing people with Disabilities.

Male employee with Down Syndrome talking to an Asian , female co-worker, smiling woman wheelchair user at a gallery, male employee using a power chair in front of a computer screen
Employees with Disabilities: Myths and Truths

Human Resources Myths About Employees with Disabilities and the Truth

Myth: Less Productive.

There is a fear that productivity will drop, employees are less capable of handling normal workloads.


Myth: Lack Dependability and Dedication.

It is feared that people with disabilities will frequently be ill and prefer disability benefit income to earned wages.


Myth: Prone to High Absenteeism and Tardiness.

There is a mistaken thought that people with disabilities are sick. Illness and sickness is not the same as living and managing life with a disability. People with disabilities compete in sports, have active social lives, and on average have better attendance rates than other employees.


Myth: Hiring an Employee with a disability will cause Workers’ Compensation and insurance to increase.

Employees with pre-existing conditions, disability and chronic illness, are typically exempt from long-term disability claims. People with disabilities are capable of remaining safe at workplaces.


Myth: Require Additional Training, Costly Workplace Accommodations, and Supervision.

Asking employees with disabilities what types of training accommodations he, she, or they need; ie, in-person or online, training extra time for tests, being able to record training sessions for review later, webinars, accessible PDF's and website, is sensible.

Truth about Training

Truth about Workplace Accommodation Costs

Truth about Supervision

Myth: It is impossible to accommodate workers with disabilities without knowing everything about the individual's disabilities and asking those questions is illegal.

There are a number of guidelines protecting people with disabilities' private medical information. It would be unreasonable to expect all applicants to be provide personal information that has no impact on their ability to perform the job for which they are being hired. There are guides and webinars that can allay these fears.

Truth about Medical Information

  • Diagnosis and supporting documentation may be required for accommodation. Medical and treatment information is confidential.

  • Accountability and creating an environment of trust where employees feel comfortable self-identifying as having a disability are true measures of inclusion.

  • Having a clear work accommodation policy with easy to follow steps in the employee manual or website portal can answer questions.

  • Emphasizing the company’s commitment to ensuring employers with disabilities flourish is a simple solution. Publishing this commitment and including the policy in the employee manual reduces applicants’ and employees’ disclosure fear, and solves problems before they occur.

  • Noting current accommodations and a willingness to accommodate employees during the interview process reassures applicants. Applicants with disabilities may ask about accommodations during the interview process if it is safe.

  • Most employees need to work at a place before they fully know what types of accommodations they need.

Myth: Even with accommodations, employees with disabilities will continue to complain and other employees will have to pick up the slack.

Accommodation for a disability is different from special treatment, favouritism, or token hiring. Employees want to work to the best of their ability, which can include simple solutions to accommodate the employee's needs.

Truth about the Accommodation Process

  • Accommodation is an ongoing process. Workloads change, people learn new skills, job descriptions evolve, and new assistive technology is always coming onto the market. Accommodation needs change due to these factors.

  • Accommodations need to be reviewed every 6 months or more frequently for newly instituted accommodations, and at year-end employee reviews.

  • Checking with the employee and supervisor that the accommodation is working, applicable, and a good fit is a smart business practice. is accessible!

Myth: People with disabilities do not apply or qualify for jobs the company posts.

This can stem from the idea that the company culture, expertise, and pace is so unique that people with disabilities are not interested in job postings. As companies become more reliant on AI to hire, evaluate and fire employees, there is a fear that people with disabilities will face even greater barriers to employment.


AI may be screening out applicants with disabilities. Algorithms and Artificial Intelligence are new technologies. Parameters are based on who it thinks is the ideal employee based on historical information. Historical information favours White, able-bodied, politically and religiously conservative males.

Ian Siegel, the CEO of ZipRecruiter, estimates that at least three-quarters of all resumes submitted for jobs in the US are read by algorithms.

Employers might use technology:

Myth: Workers with disabilities will distract non-disabled workers and make them nervous.

The myth exists that people with disabilities are rare. In fact, 20% of Canadians live with a disability. Learning, emotional, physical, and intellectual disabilities mean that it is impossible to create a generalized image of who has a disability.


  • People with disabilities are the same as any other worker. Disability awareness training helps employees without disabilities know how to accept co-workers with disabilities.

  • Human Resource offices, managers, and salespeople who take Disability awareness training are better able to hire, create seamless accommodations, supervise, and sell to people with disabilities.

Myth: People with disabilities are not consumers, so the company doesn’t need to employ them.

Adults with disabilities are consumers who are looking to advance their purchase power through paid earnings.


Thanks for reading. To book a Disability Awareness Session email

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