Due to difficulties encountered in studies, life, and activity the disabled people have reduced capability of activity to a certain extent. The people with disabilities continuously face obstacles in their economic and social development in almost each and every society of the world. They have to struggle to exercise their freedom and rights. Such situation makes it difficult for them to fully participate in the society. The unemployment rate among people with disabilities is so much high and alarming that global organisations like United Nations stress that there is dire need to come out with a solution (Ntibea, 2011).
Due to the importance of the topic ‘disability’, it is popular among researchers especially, in the context of employment. There is a large amount of literature available on the topic, exploring its different aspects and from different perspectives. A number of studies have explored the reasons of high unemployment rates among people with disabilities. Such studies have found different reasons for such high unemployment rates among people with disabilities or the disable people. For example, Bruyere (2000) conducted a survey on the topic and found that accommodation was the main reason behind lack of interest of employer to recruit people with disabilities. Fraser et al. (2010) found that structural changes were the main reason behind lower employment rates among people with disabilities. Similarly, other studies Kaye et al (2011); Copeland et al. (2010); and Chan et al. (2010) also find accommodation as the main reason behind employers’ hesitation in recruiting people with disabilities.
There are other studies which have explored the topic from employer attitude and focus perspective. For example, Economic System, Inc. (2009) identified overestimation of negative impacts of people with disabilities by the employer as the main reason or barrier to their employment. Similarly, Chan et al. (2010) also identified the management of injuries, absences, substance abuse issues and mental health as the main reason behind the employment issue for the people with disabilities. There are other reasons identified by the researchers behind the issues. For example, ODEP (2010) found the increased cost as the perceived main reason behind the employment issue. Ali et al. (2011) found worker qualification as the barrier to the employment of people with disabilities; according to statistics provided by the U.S.A department of Labour (2013), mostly the people with disabilities hold bachelor’s degree or higher while, both ODEP (2010) and Chan et al. (2010) identified resources and support services as one of the main reasons behind the lower unemployment rates among people with disabilities.
On the other hand, Schur (2010) identified discrimination and bias as the main driver while, Ali et al. (2011) explored the issue from ‘participation’ perspective. Ozawa (2002) and Autor (2012) found that social security benefits’ cost was the main barrier towards the unemployment of disabled people. Burkhauser (2012) also reached to similar conclusions. On the other hand, Ward (2012) found lack of meaningful participation of the people with disabilities as the main driver or the obstacle to their employment.
From the above, it is clear that there is a large amount of literature available on the topic that has tried to explore the reasons behind lack of interest of employers to hire, retain, and accommodate people with disabilities. One of the main problems with the studies is their dependence. The studies have mainly depended on survey data collected from management and human resource officials. In such studies the subject’s have knowledge about the research’s purpose; therefore, such studies were prone to non-response and social desirability biases. Moreover, the surveys in such studies were distributed through chamber of commerce or employer groups, resulting in getting topic-educated respondents. Even though, one particular study conducted by Jones (2011) tried to avoid such biases; the study conducted survey among employers who were relatively known to be resilient against accommodation and hiring of people with disabilities. The survey focused on questions such as why the respondents believe other employers were hesitant to recruit people with disabilities. However, there is one thing common in all these studies; there is inconsistency in terms of measuring factors. Moreover, there is need of updated information on the topic ‘the struggles faced by the people with disabilities to gain employment’.
Aims of the Study
It has been mentioned in previous section that there is need of updated information on the topic ‘the struggles faced by the people with disabilities to gain employment’. The main aims of the study are outlined below:
- To identify different types of disabilities;
- To explore effect of different types of disabilities on working ability of such people;
- To investigate unemployment level among the people with disabilities;
- To explore barriers to employment to the people with disabilities; and
- To explore the struggles faced by the people with disabilities to gain employment.
Significance and Innovation of the Proposed Study
It has been stated in earlier section that there is a large amount of literature available on the topic which has explored the reasons behind lack of interest of employers to hire, retain, and accommodate people with disabilities. However, one of the main problems with the existing literature is their dependence; the studies have mainly depended on survey data collected from management and human resource officials. In such studies the subject’s have knowledge about the research’s purpose; therefore, such studies were prone to non-response and social desirability biases. Moreover, the surveys in such studies were distributed through chamber of commerce or employer groups, resulting in getting topic-educated respondents. Moreover there is inconsistency in terms of measuring factors. The data in this research will not be collected through any chamber of commerce or employer group instead, the researcher will personally contact and collect data from employers, people with disabilities, employees working with disable people, and the experts on the topic. Moreover, this study will provide updated information and specific focus on the topic ‘the struggles faced by the people with disabilities to gain employment’.
Expected Outcomes/ Implications for Practice
The researcher will personally contact and collect data from employers, people with disabilities, employees working with disable people, and the experts on the topic. This study will provide updated analysis of the different aspects of the struggles faced by the people with disabilities to gain employment. This research will specially help and update the policy makers in understanding the struggles faced by the people with disabilities in gaining employment. The study will help the policy makers in understanding the underlying reasons behind the lower employment rates among such people, ultimately addressing the issues and improving unemployment opportunities and environment for the people who are the important and integral part of our societies.
Research Plan: Methodology
There are two main different research methods used to complete a research study. One is termed as qualitative method and the second one is termed as quantitative method. Each method has its pros and cons. For example, qualitative study does not require larger samples. Instead, it requires collection of data from a limited number of people. Such studies where qualitative methodology is followed require comparatively lower amount of finances, time, and also require lower level of hard work to complete the study. Generally, qualitative method is preferred in descriptive studies and the studies focused on exploration of a specific behaviour. Moreover, the studies completed on the basis of qualitative methodology are relatively easy to complete as such studies does not require application of complicated statistical techniques. However, the main drawback of qualitative studies is the lack of generalize-ability. Such studies are based on input of smaller samples; therefore, such studies loose creditability and acceptance of their findings are limited in scope. On the other hand, the findings of studies based on quantitative methodology are accepted widely as the findings are based on input of larger samples, a greater representative of the population. However, such studies require extra time as well as financial resource. Such studies also require extra efforts as the studies are based on collection of data from larger samples. Moreover, quantitative studies require application of complicated statistical techniques (Neuman, 2013).
By considering the pros and cons of each method, understanding the nature of the study and personal limitations, this study will be mainly based on qualitative methodology. This study will be based on qualitative methodology because this study is basically a descriptive study and related to exploration of behaviour of people with disabilities, their colleagues, and the employers and management. Furthermore, personally there is limited time and financial resources available to complete the study. However, to improve the authenticity of findings of the study, the quantitative methodology will be applied to a certain extent; the percentile analysis will be performed to analyse the primary data collected through a survey questionnaire on the topic of this study.
All the people who have disabilities and are struggling to gain employment will be population of this study.
The sample will be limited to 100 people, consisting on employers, and people with disabilities, employees working with disable people, and the experts on the topic.
To collect data and complete the proposed study there are two main options; primary data resources and secondary data resources. Similar to the research method, there are limitations and benefits attached with each source of data. For example, it is easy to collect relevant secondary data on the topic. It requires relatively less time and financial resources to collect relevant data through secondary data sources. There are a number of options to collect secondary data like; books, journals, newspapers, websites, magazines, online blogs, websites, conference proceedings, university papers, etc. However, the main drawback of secondary data is risk of manipulation. The secondary data is often termed as second-hand data because people can manipulate secondary data according to their requirements. On the other hand, there is almost no such risk attached with primary data unless, the researcher himself or herself does not manipulate as per his or her research requirements. The primary data has no such risk as it is collected first-hand and personally by the researchers. However, primary data collection requires extra time and as well as financial resources (Neuman, 2013).
This particular study will extract relevant data from secondary sources as well as from primary sources. The researchers will personally collect data from employers, people with disabilities, employees working with disable people, and the experts on the topic. On the other hand to minimise the risk of manipulation, secondary data will be collected from peer reviewed journals, books, conference proceedings, and reputable relevant websites and blogs.
To collect primary data there are different tools and techniques used by researchers like structured interviews, semi-structured interviews, unstructured interviews, surveys, questionnaires, etc. Each primary data collection option has certain benefits and limitations. For example, interview provides detailed feedback about the topic. However, it is time-consuming and costly method. Moreover, it is a complicated task to analyse data collected through interviews especially, through the unstructured interviews. On the other hand, survey method requires relatively less time and financial resources. Moreover, it is relatively easy and simple to analyse data collected through survey method (Neuman, 2013). Even though, the method does not provide detailed inputs regarding the topic still, considering the financial and time limitations the survey method is more appropriate. This study will develop a questionnaire on the topic and relevant data will be collected from the sample through a survey.
The study will require analyse of the data collected from secondary and primary sources. First of all, the researcher will perform literature review relevant to the topic of this study. It will help in development of a particular theme regarding the topic. Thereafter, the theme will be analysed in the light of data collected through the survey. The data collected through the survey questionnaire will be analysed with the help of percentile analyses. It will help in comparing and contrasting the primary and secondary data on the topic and reaching towards a particular conclusion regarding the subject problem and achieving the objectives of the study (Neuman, 2013).
This study will strive to maintain general ethical research standards. For example, the researcher will seek appointments before data is collected from management, employers, and employees of a particular company or from the experts and unemployed people with disabilities. The names or other personal data of employers, employees, and other relevant respondents will not be collected and revealed without the permission of the concerned. For this reason, the questionnaire will not seek name of the respondents. Moreover, to maintain privacy and to protect the employees and other relevant stakeholders from any sort of risk of clash with relevant stakeholders, a drop box would be used in case of data collection from employees of a particular firm. Moreover, other general ethical research standards will be maintained. In this way, ethical research standards will minimise the risk of biased feedback and the respondents will be confident while being part of the study and providing data relevant to the topic of the study (Neuman, 2013).
It will be tried to perform the research with best available tools and techniques still, there are some unavoidable limitations. For example, it will be assured to the respondents that their privacy will be maintained; however, they will still face risk of clash with relevant stakeholders or risk of losing job. The other main limitation of this study will be the time that will affect the size of the sample and the tools and techniques used to collect and analyse the data. Similarly, lack of financial resources will be the other main limitations of the study and will affect the size of the sample and the tools and techniques used to collect and analyse the data.
Administration of the Research
Basically, the study will be divided into five main sections; background, literature review, methodology, data collection, analysis and findings, and conclusion and recommendations. Brief detail about budget and resource requirement is given in following sub-section.
Resources requirements/ Budget
This study will require finances to collect and analyse data through exiting literature and the survey. First of all, there will be need of about 2,000 dollars to collect relevant data from existing literature as it will require access to relevant books, journals, newspapers, magazines, conference proceeding, and reputable websites and blogs. The study also will require about 3,000 dollars to collect primary data through survey as it will require finances to contact, travel, and meet with relevant people. Overall, this study will require about 5,000 dollars. On the other hand, the study will require access to MS word, excel, and internet to perform the analyses and document the proceedings and results.
It will require about 20 weeks completing the study. The study activities can be broadly categorised into research proposal, literature review, data collection, data analysis, and final report submission. The study will require approximately 2 weeks for research proposal; 4 weeks for literature review; 6 weeks for data collection; 4 weeks for data analysis; and finally 2 weeks will be enough to compile and submit final report. In this way, this study will be completed approximately within 20 weeks period.
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