“It opened up a whole new world for me”: Experiences of military commanders in employing individuals with intellectual disabilities

Shirli Werner*, Yael Hochman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Research on supported employment for individuals with intellectual disabilities has focused mainly on its effect on employees. Scant research has assessed the influence on employers and on the work setting. This study focused on a unique program to foster the employment of individuals with intellectual disabilities in the Israeli military and examined the effect of the program on the employers (military commanders) and on the military units. Method: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 28 military commanders. Results: Four themes illustrate the influence of people with intellectual disabilities on the military units in which they work: (a) functioning of the military unit, (b) effect on other soldiers, (c) effect on commanders, and (d) effect on attitudes toward people with intellectual disabilities. Conclusions: Results suggest that employing soldiers with intellectual disabilities has beneficial effects on both commanders and the military units, although some negative attitudes remain and merit interventions.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)648-656
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities
Volume32
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd

Keywords

  • developmental disabilities
  • employees
  • employment
  • qualitative research
  • supported

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