2017 Kessler Foundation National Employment and Disability Survey: Supervisor Perspectives

Follow this link for the full 2017 survey.

2017 National Employment and Disability SurveyFirst-of-its-kind Survey Provides New Direction for Expanding Inclusion of People with Disabilities in the Workplace

National Release ● Washington, DC

October 10, 2017 ● #KFSurvey17


What is the 2017 Kessler Foundation National Employment and Disability Survey: Supervisor Perspectives?

Kessler Foundation awarded a $265,743 Signature Employment Grant to the University of New Hampshire (UNH) to conduct the Survey. The Survey explored the workplace experiences of supervisors, who are uniquely positioned to assess the processes and practices used by American employers to recruit and hire, onboard and train, and retain and accommodate employees with and without disabilities.

How was the Kessler Foundation Employment Survey conducted?

The UNH Institute on Disability contracted with Qualtrics to capture a pre-screened sample of 3,085 supervisors, aged 18 and older, who worked in organizations that employed 25 or more employees. Supervisors completed the Survey on their own time; both they and their organizations remained anonymous. The Survey, consisting of multiple choice and open-ended questions, took approximately 15 minutes to complete.

What is unique about the Kessler Foundation Employment Survey?

The 2017 KFNEDS-SP is the first national survey to look at the effectiveness of the practices that employers use to recruit, hire, train, and retain people with disabilities in their organizations, from the unique perspective of supervisors of employees with and without disabilities.

What variables were examined by the Kessler Foundation Employment Survey?

Supervisors were queried about their organization’s use of practices for recruitment/hiring, onboarding/training, and retention/accommodation. They were asked about whether they found such practices to be effective in general, and, if so, whether they were as effective for employees with disabilities. If practices were not used by their organizations, they were asked about the feasibility of implementing them. 

Why is the Kessler Foundation Employment Survey important?

This Survey identifies employer practices that are effective, but are being underused by organizations. Supervisors often responded that it would be feasible to implement these practices in their organization. This information can be used to encourage organizations to adopt promising practices. This has the potential to positively influence employment outcomes for Americans with disabilities.

How will the results of the Kessler Foundation Employment Survey be used?

The Survey offers important new information for employers, policymakers, legislators, and the disability community. The results show that employers are striving to recruit, hire, train, and retain people with disabilities, and reveals areas of opportunity for even greater success. Information about the utilization and effectiveness of their workplace practices will engender new priorities, policies, and programs for promoting greater inclusion of individuals with disabilities in the workplace.

About Kessler Foundation 

Kessler Foundation, a major nonprofit organization in the field of disability, is a global leader in rehabilitation research that seeks to improve cognition, mobility and long-term outcomes, including employment, for people with neurological disabilities caused by diseases and injuries of the brain and spinal cord. Kessler Foundation leads the nation in funding innovative programs that expand opportunities for employment for people with disabilities. Kessler Foundation and the UNH Institute on Disability issue National Trends in Disability Employment (#nTIDE), a custom monthly report that compares employment data for people with and without disabilities.