By Anju Khubchandani, MA
It is with great pleasure that we welcome you to the first edition of Spotlight on Disability, from APA’s Office on Disability Issues in Psychology. A very big thank you to our colleagues who have submitted articles for this inaugural issue. We are grateful to you for allowing us to share your insights, and hope that you, and anyone interested in these important topics, feel welcome to share your knowledge, research, and experiences by keeping all of us disability stakeholders in the loop of reciprocal information-sharing.
The intent of this newsletter is to raise the visibility of disability, to increase the understanding of applying psychology to disability, and to provide a forum by which psychologists can share their findings and research.
Each issue of Spotlight on Disability will explore a topical theme. This inaugural issue highlights employment and disability. Workplace integration and parity are important issues for the disability community. Since the 1990s, progressive legislation, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act, has promoted the employment of persons with disabilities. Unfortunately, these actions have not resulted in enough successful integration and equality in the actual workplace. Economic data reveals that the gap in employment rates between persons with and without disabilities remains significant.
This disparity points to numerous opportunities for psychologists in all areas of psychology to contribute their unique knowledge, skills, and research. For instance, prior to 2006, most research in the area of disability and employment focused on people as the unit of analysis. Today, psychologists have begun to engage research in demand-side studies, focusing on the broader context of employer needs, concerns, and daily practices.
The following articles showcase the important work of several psychologists in the area of disability and employment.