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    Expectations management; employer perspectives on opportunities for improved employment of persons with mental disabilities in Kenya.

    Ebuenyi, Ikenna and van der Ham, Alida J. and Bunders-Aelen, Joske F.G. and Regeer, Barbara J. (2020) Expectations management; employer perspectives on opportunities for improved employment of persons with mental disabilities in Kenya. Disability and Rehabilitation, 42 (12). pp. 1687-1696. ISSN 0963-8288

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    Purpose: In Kenya, the employment rate for persons with disabilities is about 1% compared to 73.8% for the general population, and the situation is even worse for persons with mental disabilities. Persons with mental disabilities are often regarded as “mad”, and stand little or no chance of employment. We undertook an exploratory study with employers and potential employers to understand factors that hinder or facilitate their employment and to gain insight into employers’ perceptions of mental disability. Materials and methods: We adopted a mixed method study design, including in-depth interviews (n = 10) and questionnaires (n = 158) with (potential) employers in Kenya to explore the barriers and facilitators of employment for persons with mental disabilities. Results: Out of the 158 employers who completed the questionnaire, only 15.4% had ever employed persons with mental disabilities. The perceptions that these persons are not productive and may be violent was associated with an unwillingness to employ them (OR: 10.11, 95%CI: 2.87–35.59 and OR: 3.6, 95%CI: 1.34–9.64, respectively). The possession of skills was the highest reported facilitator of employing persons with mental disabilities. Employers suggested that information about mental illness and the disclosure by prospective employees with mental disabilities are relevant for the provision of reasonable accommodation in the workplace. Conclusion: Possession of skills and disclosure by persons with mental disabilities could improve their employability. Information targeted at all actors including employers, employees, government, and policymakers is necessary for balancing employers and employees expectations. • Disabled persons’ organisations or mental disability programs that seek to improve the employment of persons with mental disabilities should incorporate methods that address employer expectations through dialogue to find mutual benefits. • Employers require essential information about mental illness, and guidance and support in order to provide reasonable accommodation in the workplace for persons with mental disabilities. • Disabled persons’ organisations and inclusive employment programs should share the positive experiences of employers of persons with mental disabilities with employers who are unaware of the work abilities of persons with mental disabilities to stimulate adoption of inclusive practices.

    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: © 2018 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way. To cite this article: Ikenna D. Ebuenyi, Alida J. van der Ham, Joske F. G. Bunders-Aelen & Barbara J. Regeer (2020) Expectations management; employer perspectives on opportunities for improved employment of persons with mental disabilities in Kenya* , Disability and Rehabilitation, 42:12, 1687-1696, DOI: 10.1080/09638288.2018.1534006
    Keywords: Expectations management; employability; mental disabilities; Kenya;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Science and Engineering > Psychology
    Item ID: 13659
    Identification Number:
    Depositing User: Ikenna Ebuenyi
    Date Deposited: 25 Nov 2020 15:35
    Journal or Publication Title: Disability and Rehabilitation
    Publisher: Informa Healthcare
    Refereed: Yes
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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