Employers put off recruiting disabled people by politically correct language of disability

Many employers are put off by the politically correct “language of disability”, despite believing they should make efforts to hire disabled people, acccording to research.

The survey of 403 employers, conducted for Remploy, a provider of employment services for disabled people, shows that more than three-quarters believe organisations should work toward creating a diverse workplace.

But employers said there was a misunderstanding regarding the language used to describe disability, particularly in the desire to be politically correct and not to cause offence.

Employers interviewed in focus groups said they believed the issue was a barrier to employing disabled people. One told researchers: “The ballpark is always moving, as are the words that I can say. You don’t say that someone is blind, you say visually impaired.”

Researchers also found that one of the main reasons given by businesses for not employing more people with disabilities was that disabled people did not apply for jobs.

Beth Carruthers, Remploy’s director of employment services, said: “The survey shows very clearly that employers recognise the talents and skills disabled people can bring to the workplace.

“The important thing is not the language used to describe disability, but that disabled people receive the same respect and opportunities as non-disabled people.”

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