Columnist Helen Henderson writes in the Toronto Star about a scene on the ABC television series Private Practice, in which a hospital executive “feels trapped by the specter of political correctness” because she fears confronting a doctor with a disability.
Henderson says the scene underscores a real workplace problem: Employers are wary of disability hiring because they think “it’s harder to dismiss an underperforming person with a disability than one without a disability.”
A survey by Toronto’s Job Opportunity Information Network found that 36 per cent of executives said they felt uncomfortable reprimanding someone with a disability.
To be truly inclusive, Henderson says, a workplace must encourage people to speak up about legitimate concerns. She gives points to the producers of Private Practice for hiring Michael Patrick Thornton to play the doctor in the wheelchair. Thornton is partially paralyzed and uses a wheelchair in real life.
(Toronto Star photo from ABC)