Disclosing Disability in the Workplace a Review of Literature and Practice in the Irish Public Sector

Published 2009

In Ireland since the late 1970s, there has been an official target for 3% of the staff of public bodies to be people with disabilities. The 2005 Disability Act put this target on a statutory footing, and gave the National Disability Authority (NDA) responsibility for monitoring and encouraging compliance. Part 5 of the Act sets out the role and responsibilities of Government Departments, Public Bodies and the NDA in the monitoring process.

The focus of this research is to gain an understanding of how people with disabilities who are employed in the public sector view this monitoring process as well as the factors they feel facilitate and hinder the disclosure of a disability in the workplace.  

Section One reviews literature on the topic of disclosing a disability in the workplace and outlines some of the positive action measures that exist to encourage the employment of people with disabilities in the workplace.  It explores how disclosure is defined and identifies some of the barriers and facilitators to disclosing a disability in the workplace. 

Section Two contains the empirical findings conducted by independent researchers.  The research took place during the summer of 2008 and opinions were collected via focus groups, telephone interviews and email questionnaires.

Section Three is a discussion of the main findings from the literature review and the empirical research and draws some conclusions from the findings. 

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