Expectations management; employer perspectives on opportunities for improved employment of persons with mental disabilities in Kenya

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

PURPOSE: In Kenya, the employment rate for persons with disabilities is about 1% compared to 73.8% for the general population, and the situation is even worse for persons with mental disabilities. Persons with mental disabilities are often regarded as "mad", and stand little or no chance of employment. We undertook an exploratory study with employers and potential employers to understand factors that hinder or facilitate their employment and to gain insight into employers' perceptions of mental disability.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: We adopted a mixed method study design, including in-depth interviews (n = 10) and questionnaires (n = 158) with (potential) employers in Kenya to explore the barriers and facilitators of employment for persons with mental disabilities.

RESULTS: Out of the 158 employers who completed the questionnaire, only 15.4% had ever employed persons with mental disabilities. The perceptions that these persons are not productive and may be violent was associated with an unwillingness to employ them (OR: 10.11, 95%CI: 2.87-35.59 and OR: 3.6, 95%CI: 1.34-9.64, respectively). The possession of skills was the highest reported facilitator of employing persons with mental disabilities. Employers suggested that information about mental illness and the disclosure by prospective employees with mental disabilities are relevant for the provision of reasonable accommodation in the workplace.

CONCLUSION: Possession of skills and disclosure by persons with mental disabilities could improve their employability. Information targeted at all actors including employers, employees, government, and policymakers is necessary for balancing employers and employees expectations. Implications for rehabilitation Disabled persons' organisations or mental disability programs that seek to improve the employment of persons with mental disabilities should incorporate methods that address employer expectations through dialogue to find mutual benefits. Employers require essential information about mental illness, and guidance and support in order to provide reasonable accommodation in the workplace for persons with mental disabilities. Disabled persons' organisations and inclusive employment programs should share the positive experiences of employers of persons with mental disabilities with employers who are unaware of the work abilities of persons with mental disabilities to stimulate adoption of inclusive practices.

LanguageEnglish
Pages1-10
Number of pages10
JournalDisability and Rehabilitation
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 7 Jan 2019

Fingerprint

Kenya
Disabled Persons
Disclosure
Workplace
Organizations
Aptitude
Rehabilitation

Cite this

@article{4b99fd7be48e49f58ff797844d4f8a0e,
title = "Expectations management; employer perspectives on opportunities for improved employment of persons with mental disabilities in Kenya",
abstract = "PURPOSE: In Kenya, the employment rate for persons with disabilities is about 1{\%} compared to 73.8{\%} for the general population, and the situation is even worse for persons with mental disabilities. Persons with mental disabilities are often regarded as {"}mad{"}, and stand little or no chance of employment. We undertook an exploratory study with employers and potential employers to understand factors that hinder or facilitate their employment and to gain insight into employers' perceptions of mental disability.MATERIALS AND METHODS: We adopted a mixed method study design, including in-depth interviews (n = 10) and questionnaires (n = 158) with (potential) employers in Kenya to explore the barriers and facilitators of employment for persons with mental disabilities.RESULTS: Out of the 158 employers who completed the questionnaire, only 15.4{\%} had ever employed persons with mental disabilities. The perceptions that these persons are not productive and may be violent was associated with an unwillingness to employ them (OR: 10.11, 95{\%}CI: 2.87-35.59 and OR: 3.6, 95{\%}CI: 1.34-9.64, respectively). The possession of skills was the highest reported facilitator of employing persons with mental disabilities. Employers suggested that information about mental illness and the disclosure by prospective employees with mental disabilities are relevant for the provision of reasonable accommodation in the workplace.CONCLUSION: Possession of skills and disclosure by persons with mental disabilities could improve their employability. Information targeted at all actors including employers, employees, government, and policymakers is necessary for balancing employers and employees expectations. Implications for rehabilitation Disabled persons' organisations or mental disability programs that seek to improve the employment of persons with mental disabilities should incorporate methods that address employer expectations through dialogue to find mutual benefits. Employers require essential information about mental illness, and guidance and support in order to provide reasonable accommodation in the workplace for persons with mental disabilities. Disabled persons' organisations and inclusive employment programs should share the positive experiences of employers of persons with mental disabilities with employers who are unaware of the work abilities of persons with mental disabilities to stimulate adoption of inclusive practices.",
author = "Ebuenyi, {Ikenna D} and {van der Ham}, {Alida J} and J.G.F. Bunders-Aelen and Regeer, {Barbara J}",
year = "2019",
month = "1",
day = "7",
doi = "10.1080/09638288.2018.1534006",
language = "English",
pages = "1--10",
journal = "Disability and Rehabilitation",
issn = "0963-8288",
publisher = "Informa Healthcare",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Expectations management; employer perspectives on opportunities for improved employment of persons with mental disabilities in Kenya

AU - Ebuenyi, Ikenna D

AU - van der Ham, Alida J

AU - Bunders-Aelen, J.G.F.

AU - Regeer, Barbara J

PY - 2019/1/7

Y1 - 2019/1/7

N2 - PURPOSE: In Kenya, the employment rate for persons with disabilities is about 1% compared to 73.8% for the general population, and the situation is even worse for persons with mental disabilities. Persons with mental disabilities are often regarded as "mad", and stand little or no chance of employment. We undertook an exploratory study with employers and potential employers to understand factors that hinder or facilitate their employment and to gain insight into employers' perceptions of mental disability.MATERIALS AND METHODS: We adopted a mixed method study design, including in-depth interviews (n = 10) and questionnaires (n = 158) with (potential) employers in Kenya to explore the barriers and facilitators of employment for persons with mental disabilities.RESULTS: Out of the 158 employers who completed the questionnaire, only 15.4% had ever employed persons with mental disabilities. The perceptions that these persons are not productive and may be violent was associated with an unwillingness to employ them (OR: 10.11, 95%CI: 2.87-35.59 and OR: 3.6, 95%CI: 1.34-9.64, respectively). The possession of skills was the highest reported facilitator of employing persons with mental disabilities. Employers suggested that information about mental illness and the disclosure by prospective employees with mental disabilities are relevant for the provision of reasonable accommodation in the workplace.CONCLUSION: Possession of skills and disclosure by persons with mental disabilities could improve their employability. Information targeted at all actors including employers, employees, government, and policymakers is necessary for balancing employers and employees expectations. Implications for rehabilitation Disabled persons' organisations or mental disability programs that seek to improve the employment of persons with mental disabilities should incorporate methods that address employer expectations through dialogue to find mutual benefits. Employers require essential information about mental illness, and guidance and support in order to provide reasonable accommodation in the workplace for persons with mental disabilities. Disabled persons' organisations and inclusive employment programs should share the positive experiences of employers of persons with mental disabilities with employers who are unaware of the work abilities of persons with mental disabilities to stimulate adoption of inclusive practices.

AB - PURPOSE: In Kenya, the employment rate for persons with disabilities is about 1% compared to 73.8% for the general population, and the situation is even worse for persons with mental disabilities. Persons with mental disabilities are often regarded as "mad", and stand little or no chance of employment. We undertook an exploratory study with employers and potential employers to understand factors that hinder or facilitate their employment and to gain insight into employers' perceptions of mental disability.MATERIALS AND METHODS: We adopted a mixed method study design, including in-depth interviews (n = 10) and questionnaires (n = 158) with (potential) employers in Kenya to explore the barriers and facilitators of employment for persons with mental disabilities.RESULTS: Out of the 158 employers who completed the questionnaire, only 15.4% had ever employed persons with mental disabilities. The perceptions that these persons are not productive and may be violent was associated with an unwillingness to employ them (OR: 10.11, 95%CI: 2.87-35.59 and OR: 3.6, 95%CI: 1.34-9.64, respectively). The possession of skills was the highest reported facilitator of employing persons with mental disabilities. Employers suggested that information about mental illness and the disclosure by prospective employees with mental disabilities are relevant for the provision of reasonable accommodation in the workplace.CONCLUSION: Possession of skills and disclosure by persons with mental disabilities could improve their employability. Information targeted at all actors including employers, employees, government, and policymakers is necessary for balancing employers and employees expectations. Implications for rehabilitation Disabled persons' organisations or mental disability programs that seek to improve the employment of persons with mental disabilities should incorporate methods that address employer expectations through dialogue to find mutual benefits. Employers require essential information about mental illness, and guidance and support in order to provide reasonable accommodation in the workplace for persons with mental disabilities. Disabled persons' organisations and inclusive employment programs should share the positive experiences of employers of persons with mental disabilities with employers who are unaware of the work abilities of persons with mental disabilities to stimulate adoption of inclusive practices.

U2 - 10.1080/09638288.2018.1534006

DO - 10.1080/09638288.2018.1534006

M3 - Article

SP - 1

EP - 10

JO - Disability and Rehabilitation

T2 - Disability and Rehabilitation

JF - Disability and Rehabilitation

SN - 0963-8288

ER -