Manager Representation Effects


A Key Driver of PWD Employee Engagement

In part due to regulation, there is a heavy emphasis within organizations on having employees disclose their disability. This is often a necessary precursor to receiving workplace accommodations and fulfills organizational requirements for a diverse workforce. To this end, many advocacy organizations work on promoting cultures of openness and/or on encouraging People with Disabilities (PWD) to disclose their disability to receive accommodations.

However, this emphasis on disclosure misses a key element: the potential negative effects of disclosure must be balanced against potential gains from workplace accommodations (providing accommodations are the reason for disclosure). One key finding from RoDG’s 2022 third quarter survey on disability is that managers often perceive PWD as being unable to their job effectively.[1]

Despite 27% of the North American population having a disability, many PWD are unaware there are other PWD at their given employer.[2] In RoDG’s third quarter survey of PWD employees, only 45% of respondents indicated they knew of other PWD that discussed their disabilities in their workplace, while 55% indicated they did not know other PWD who discussed their disability at work.

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[1] See The Return on Disability Group. 2024. Workplace Attitudes and Disability. Available at: Workplace Attitudes and Disability | Insights | Return on Disability (rod-group.com)

[2] For disability rates in the United States, see Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2023. Disability and Health Data System (DHDS)]. Available at: http://dhds.cdc.gov. For Canada, see Statistics Canada 2023. Canadian Survey on Disability, 2017 to 2022. Available at: https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/231201/dq231201b-eng.htm.