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Employers’ perspectives regarding reasonable accommodations for employees with autism spectrum disorder

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 November 2018

Michal Waisman-Nitzan*
Affiliation:
Department of Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Social Welfare & Health Sciences, University of Haifa, Mount Carmel, Haifa, Israel
Eynat Gal
Affiliation:
Department of Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Social Welfare & Health Sciences, University of Haifa, Mount Carmel, Haifa, Israel
Naomi Schreuer
Affiliation:
Department of Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Social Welfare & Health Sciences, University of Haifa, Mount Carmel, Haifa, Israel
*
*Corresponding author: Email: michalwni@gmail.com

Abstract

Employers who are open to the establishment of a neuro-diverse workforce, including adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), often encounter challenges resulting from both personal characteristics and environmental barriers. Employees with ASD demonstrate evident abilities and a high motivation to work, yet their employment rate remains low. This qualitative phenomenological study explored the perspectives of 11 employers of individuals with ASD from the open labour market. Three themes emerged: employers’ perception of employees with ASD; their motivation to employ an employee with ASD; and accessibility of the work environment: reasonable adjustments. The findings support the importance of factors in the work environment that serve to either inhibit or facilitate the inclusion of people with ASD in the open labour market as much as their personal characteristics. The results relate to workplace accessibility within the context of the organization’s management and justice climate.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press and Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management 2018 

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