Electronic Journal for Inclusive Education


If we look to the not so distant past, we see a history of lost opportunities for employment and the chance to meaningfully contribute to society for individuals with mental retardation (Murphy & Rogan, 1995). Many issues surround why these individuals have not been more included within our society, particularly in the employment sector. Fears, questions, and concerns abound when looking at these issues. Such questions are: Why would I want to hire an individual with mental retardation? How much cost is associated with various accommodations that may be required? What unknowns are involved in hiring a person with mental retardation? Are there any benefits to my business and to me as an employer? If so, what are they? How will my other employees respond to working side-by-side with a person with mental retardation? I have no training working with this population, how will I know what to do? The purpose of this article is to provide an historical look and insight into the issues surrounding these questions.