People with disabilities face many barriers every day that make it harder to find or keep jobs – from physical obstacles in buildings to systemic barriers in employment. Some of these barriers include employers’ misconceptions about hiring and accommodating a person with a disability, inaccessible workspaces or equipment, or a lack of transportation to get to a work site.
Stereotypes, or attitudinal barriers, are the most basic barrier faced by the disabled population. Within society, these attitudes may come from people’s ideas related to disability—People may see disability as a personal tragedy, as something that needs to be cured or prevented, or as an indication of the lack of ability to behave as expected in society. Some attitudes suggest the person with a disability is incapable; others that the person is “special”. The most pervasive negative attitude, though, is focusing on a person’s disability rather than on an individual’s abilities. These attitudes keep people from appreciating – and experiencing – the full potential a person with a disability can achieve.