When it comes to manager perceptions of people with disabilities, things have changed—for the better. Perception can be used as a proxy for whether disability employment and inclusion programs have been beneficial to managers. A 2010 poll found that managers who are experienced in these programs showed substantial improvements in their perceptions of employees with disabilities and the value they bring to the workplace.

Data from the Kessler Foundation/National Organization on Disability’s (NOD) 2010 Survey of Americans With Disabilities, conducted by Harris Interactive, showed that when it comes to job skills and workplace behavior, most managers see employees with disabilities as no different than employees without disabilities. The poll, which interviewed 411 senior managers from a cross-section of companies with 50 or more employees, found that the most significant insights into managerial views include employee dedication, retention and flexibility to adapt to new situations. In fact, a third of managers surveyed believe employees with disabilities are less likely to leave their job and more dedicated than their non-disabled peers.

Statistics on How Managers Perceive Disability Programs

Although these figures may be surprising to some, to those who have a disability or have worked alongside anyone belonging to the diverse group of individuals who live and thrive with a disability, the numbers here simply reflect reality.

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