Presentation W O2

W O2 (Oral Presentation):
Hiring and retention of persons with disabilities: Evidence synthesis of employer perspectives

Presented by: Lynn E. Shaw


Shaw L1,2, Daraz L2, Bezzina M1

  1. Western University London Ontario
  2. City of Toronto



Governments and employers are being challenged by accessibility legislation to hire youth, migrants, women and older workers with disabilities. The aim of this funded knowledge synthesis was to understand the realm of barriers, and challenges that employers face in the hiring and retention of persons with disabilities. The second aim was to identify strategies that can support employers in hiring selection processes.


A scoping review, using Arskey and O’Malley’s, framework was used to search and synthesize articles (evidence and policy documents) to identify barriers in the hiring process from the perspective of employers and persons with disabilities. An integrative analysis and synthesis was used to identify the most salient barriers in hiring processes of planning, selection, job offer and retention. Strategies to support hiring were also synthesized.


A total of 38 evidence articles and 19 documents from grey literature were included in data extraction. Four predominant barriers emerged: attitudinal barriers, barriers about performance skill and capacity, lack of awareness of disability and the management of disability related issues in hiring and retention, and lack of integration of services and policies to promote hiring and retention. Facilitators included: access to information on accommodation legislation & disability awareness, developing sustainable partnerships, access to government support with compliance to legislation, incentives for employers, partnering across agencies for the provision of accommodation services, training employment advocates, access to skill acquisition training for candidates, access to knowledge on best practices, managing disclosure, and developing an inclusive hiring plan.


This review points to the need to build upon the generic information on disability that currently exists. Employers need access to more specific information on disability types and work capacity, selection processes to evaluate potential work performance, and on current and future accommodations options to support the employment of persons with disabilities. Innovations in hiring processes and future research are needed on partnerships across government, hiring agencies, accessibility providers, educators, and labour to prevent long-term work disability.

Schedule Details

Wednesday October 1
14:00 - 15:30 Afternoon Concurrent Sessions (W O1 - W O4 and Seminars 7 and 8)
Session: Ethical issues and vulnerable workers
Room B