Workplace Disability Inclusion in India: Review and Directions

  • Citation: Suresh, Vasanthi, and Lata Dyaram. “Workplace Disability Inclusion in India: Review and Directions.” Indian Institute of Technology: Madras, July 23, 2020.
    • Topics:
    • Movements for Inclusion
    • Keywords:
    • South Asia
    • India
    • India
    • diversity
    • disability
    • inclusion
    • persons with disabilities
    • employment

This study aims to review the extant literature on workplace disability inclusion in the organised sector in India and presents an integrated model based on emergent themes in indigenous studies. The review is directed by the following foci: In what contexts was workplace disability inclusion in India empirically investigated? How was workplace disability inclusion examined (method)? What important themes emerge from the studies? Towards this, empirical scholarly studies in India, published between 2011–2019, is reviewed to identify the evolutionary trends. Prominent themes have been identified at three levels – organization, group and individual. At an organization level, the focus is on inclusive strategy and practices. Country-specific contextual factors such as legislation, accessibility and external eco-system influence an organization’s inclusive strategy, which addresses how organizations engage with persons with disability (PwD), job mapping, accessibility and targeted recruitment. Inclusive practices span across various phases of the employee life cycle, namely, recruitment, onboarding, development and retention. At the group level, the themes highlight group boundaries, PwD-supervisor interaction, PwD-co-worker interaction and PwD-PwD interaction. At an individual level, PwD experiences are categorized as physical, job-related and psychological. Workplace treatment and experiences of PwD vary from discrimination to inclusion and along with other outcomes, are influenced by contextual factors. This study contributes to the development of workplace disability inclusion theory, by presenting an integrated model of prominent themes, offering greater clarity and avenues for extending the literature. The paper discusses themes that can help organizations facilitate inclusion, thereby improving employment opportunities for PwD.

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