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With An Eye to the Future

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2005: Minnesota Employers Survey

In May 2005, the Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities conducted a study among Minnesota employers in order to identify and measure issues and perceptions that constitute barriers to employment for individuals with disabilities. The study consisted of approximately 600 telephone surveys among Minnesota businesses.

Results indicated that few organizations actively seek out individuals with disabilities; however the vast majority of current employers are open to hiring from this population if the opportunity presents itself.

Of those employers who do employ persons with developmental disabilities, survey results were very positive. Some of the findings include:

  • Hiring a person who is "motivated to do the job" was rated as the most important success factor for hiring an individual with a disability.
  • The majority of employers seldom or never found it necessary to assist their employees with disabilities with basic functions such as performing the job tasks, managing the work day, making decisions, mobility, communication, or grooming.
  • The majority of employers thought that the costs of accommodations they have provided were equal to or less than they had anticipated, and that the benefits of doing so outweighed the costs.
MN Employers Survey
MN Employers Survey

Most importantly, employers were asked to compare their employees with disabilities to their other employees in similar positions on a set of 10 performance attributes, such as punctuality, attendance, work quality, attitude, etc.

  • Employees with physical or sensory disabilities rated equal to or higher than their coworkers in similar positions on every performance attribute except for work-speed.