What Do We Need? Accommodations in the Workplace: People with Lupus Share Their Work Experiences
Keywords:disability, workplace accommodations, American with Disability Act (ADA), lupus
This article discusses disability inclusion in the workplace. It identifies barriers and makes recommendations to help meet employment needs of people with disabilities, utilizing lupus as an example. A convergent mixed method design study examined the workplace experiences and needs of individuals with lupus. Availability sampling yielded 1,776 participants from across the United States. The results revealed 69% of the respondents reported lupus symptoms had a negative impact on their employment and 48% of the participants reported needing help or accommodations in the workplace. An inductive thematic content analysis with an inter-coder agreement ranging from 71% to 73%, yielded 4 themes encompassing issues related to productivity, interpersonal relationship in the workplace, and adjustments in work responsibilities and work environment, respectively. The results suggest that training programs about the American with Disability Act may have a positive impact on organizational functioning. Employers have a responsibility to maintain a flexible work environment whenever possible to address variability in employees’ needs. Employers and employees should engage in ongoing discussions that seek to identify the accommodations that will help employees with disabilities meet their workplace responsibilities and to enhance their contribution to the organization. Managers and administrators are encouraged to create an environment that values a diverse workforce, including persons with disabilities.
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Copyright (c) 2023 Orly Calderon, Elissa D. Giffords, Kaycee Kane
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