The New York Times published an article today discussing a recent study that seems to expose discrimination against the disabled during the hiring process. While this is no surprise to me, I am a little concerned that New York state is simultaneously planning to shut down sheltered workshops. This means that there will be more push for integration into the workplace. I welcome this initiative and think it is a compassionate way for those who have disabilities to find work and for employers to find exemplary employees.
My concern lies in the way the integration occurs. My experience is that after initial job coaching, the disabled employee, who had autism, was left with little supervision. She ended up not fully understanding job tasks and created a huge archiving catastrophe by misfiling hundreds of files. She even took files that were filed correctly and misfiled them. In the break room she ended up being shunned since her social skills made her a pariah. If she was gently redirected or reminded she was being rude, she placed you on her black list and ignored you in the future. Eventually everyone rearranged their schedules to avoid her in the break room and no one would talk to her.
I believe she needed more supervision than was given and more social skill coaching than a regular employee required. This would be accommodation beyond the cliche of a ramp and modified restroom and therefore a program is needed for this type of integration. I am not reading about this types of workplace integration programs and this absence concerns me.
Employers were less likely to respond to applicants who said they had a disability, researchers show.