Beyond Handicap, Pity, and Inspiration: Disability and Diversity in Workforce Development Education and Practice

Beyond Handicap, Pity, and Inspiration: Disability and Diversity in Workforce Development Education and Practice

Hannah Rudstam (Cornell University, USA), Thomas Golden (Cornell University, USA), Susanne Bruyere (Cornell University, USA), Sara Van Looy (Cornell University, USA) and Wendy Strobel Gower (Cornell University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0209-8.ch015
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Abstract

Individuals with disabilities represent a substantial portion of the U.S. population and workforce. Yet, disability is often not meaningfully included in diversity and inclusion efforts in the workplace or in higher education. This chapter focuses on ten misperceptions that have fueled the marginalization of disability in diversity and inclusion efforts. These ten misperceptions revolve around a range of issues: Legal, human and practical. We provide an overview of each misperception and discuss implications for diversity and workforce development practitioners, with a focus on higher education settings. In conclusion, we urge readers to consider their own organizations in light of each of these ten misperceptions.
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Misperceptions Fueling The Minimization Of Disability In Diversity Initatives

The purpose of this chapter is twofold. First, we will identify and challenge some tacit assumptions that have historically fueled the positioning of disability as a set-aside piece of workforce diversity and workforce development efforts. Second, we will discuss how each identified misperception has impacted the field of workforce development practice and what workforce development educators and professionals must do to change this misperception.

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