Disabilities Don't Raise Insurance Costs

April 05, 1999

ITHACA, N.Y. -- A new survey of human resource managers has found that companies' health, life and disability insurance costs rarely rise because of hiring employees with disabilities, but that attitudinal stereotypes about people with disabilities are still pervasive in the workplace, causing them to be hired less and fired more than workers without disabilities.

The survey was conducted by Cornell University's Program on Employment and Disability and other research groups. Most HR professionals surveyed also reported that: Other significant results: Collaborating with the Cornell group were researchers with the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the Lewin Group and the Washington Business Group on Health. The four-year grant that is funding the study was awarded by the U.S. Department of Education's National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research.

About 1,400 randomly selected members of SHRM in small, medium-size and large U.S. organizations were surveyed by telephone. The response rate was 73 percent, with 43 percent of the respondents working at organizations of fewer than 500 employees and 32 percent working at organizations of 2,500 employees or more.

Susanne M. Bruyère, principle investigator with Cornell's Program on Employment and Disability, says she hopes the survey's results will be a first step in educating employers. For more information about the survey and the program contact Bruyère at: 106 ILR Extension Building, Ithaca, N.Y. 14853-3901; telephone: 607-255-7727; fax: 607-255-2763; TTY: 607-255-2891; e-mail: smb23@cornell.edu.
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Related World Wide Web sites: The following sites provide additional information on this news release.

-- Cornell Program on Employment and Disability: http://www.ilr.cornell.edu/ped

Cornell University

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