About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 626-632
Publication year: 2015
ISBN: 978-84-606-5763-7
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 9th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 2-4 March, 2015
Location: Madrid, Spain

WORKPLACE ACCOMMODATIONS FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES IN ITALY

E. Zappella

University of Bergamo (ITALY)
A number of studies highlight the difficulties that people with disabilities face in finding and keeping employment. The aim was to examine how workplace accommodation can help employees with disabilities complete the required tasks and to identify the factors that influence the selection of accommodations. We carried out Indepth interviews with 30employers and workers with disabilities during the hiring process. The data were analyzed using the interpretative phenomenological approach aimed at exploring the participants’ views on their experiences. The results were revised with the participants using the Delphi method in order to share the interpretation and obtain further details. Two longitudinal case studies offered the opportunity to investigate the stages of the hiring process and the explore tools that can enable employers to manage the recruitment more consciously. We followed the career path of two workers from the first employment application to the end of the trial period in a supermarket. We analyzed how supervision is managed,through direct observations,supervisors’ accounts,and by investigating how accommodations are introduced. The factors that influence the decision of employers are:previous experience,expected performance,corporate culture,the understanding of disability. The accommodations can be identified in two stages: during the job interview or during daily activities. During the interview,employers and employees can plan changes that can be decided on before the employee starts work. This reconciles the needs of the organization and those of the worker which can be integrated with the need for pharmacological treatments. Most of the accommodations cannot be planned and must be negotiated by employers and employees during the course of business whenever there is a problem. The critical issues concern the ability to complete the assigned tasks,managing the emotional sphere of employees, and the relationships with colleagues. In these cases,employers and employees negotiate in order to identify the strategies needed to deal with these situations. They introduce new routines,or draw up diagrams that enable the worker to internalize the correct sequence of actions. In other cases, they modify procedures. The employee may be left to organize their own work,by identifying the optimal sequence of tasks. With regard to the emotional sphere, the most delicate situations concern the management of any errors and work stress. The employers’ role is to understand the reasons for these responses and to try to find the most practical solutions for the employee,and also for the organization. Clearly, employers need to understand the fears and weaknesses of the employee. They need to distinguish between isolated incidents and those situations that suggest there is a problem that could be dealt with by at least temporarily lightening the workload. The solutions are tested in the field and modified accordingly. Employers reported that they were familiar with the dynamics of the business but they were not always able to understand the needs of people with disabilities. When they did not clearly grasp the motivations behind the behavior of workers with disabilities and then struggled to decide what accommodations to introduce,employers were guided by common sense. Specialized training for employers would be highly beneficial in helping them to plan and implement an inclusive workplace, thus ensuring a high quality work experience for all employees
@InProceedings{ZAPPELLA2015WOR,
author = {Zappella, E.},
title = {WORKPLACE ACCOMMODATIONS FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES IN ITALY},
series = {9th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2015 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-606-5763-7},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Madrid, Spain},
month = {2-4 March, 2015},
year = {2015},
pages = {626-632}}
TY - CONF
AU - E. Zappella
TI - WORKPLACE ACCOMMODATIONS FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES IN ITALY
SN - 978-84-606-5763-7/2340-1079
PY - 2015
Y1 - 2-4 March, 2015
CI - Madrid, Spain
JO - 9th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2015 Proceedings
SP - 626
EP - 632
ER -
E. Zappella (2015) WORKPLACE ACCOMMODATIONS FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES IN ITALY, INTED2015 Proceedings, pp. 626-632.
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