PHYSICAL DISABILITY INCLUSION IN THE WORKPLACE: AN INDIAN CONTEXT
Background: When organizations consider diversity and inclusion, physical disability as a group is often neglected. It is neither well organized nor recognized in the private sector in India despite support from international conventions and disability laws. Disability perception in the workplace is a complex issue with many layers. It is a function of intra-individual, interpersonal, social and organizational interactions and experiences. Empirical research on disability inclusion reveals a huge gap between knowledge and practice.
Purpose: This research paper aims to investigate the factors that affect physical disability inclusion in private organizations in India, understand stakeholder attitudes towards persons with physical disabilities, and recommend a generic framework to organizations from the lens of an HR, to build an inclusive workplace. It also attempts to open new avenues of research to organizational practices by sharing an integrated approach to disability inclusion.
Methods: The researcher has used content analysis to organize and elicit meaning from the data collected and draw conclusions and recommendations from it. 30-35 journal articles related to the topic were included in the study on the basis of keyword searches considering disability in the workplace from a social, legal, anthropological, and organizational perspective in India and the globe. Accordingly, meanings, concepts, definitions, theories, interpretations, applications and empirical referents were extracted after reviewing the resources. Corporate cases were also cited as examples, using the help of five companies, each representing a different industry, but exhibiting good practices in the field of disability inclusion in India.
Findings: The study suggests that integrated HR practices comprising of inclusive recruitment and on-boarding, a supportive workplace, sensitized work culture and environment, up-to date technology and infrastructure, and career development are the major factors affecting disability inclusion and acceptance in the workplace. The research analysis also indicates limited progress in the field of career mapping and development for persons with physical disabilities in the workplace..