Results released from a national survey commissioned by insurance provider The Hartford suggest that there may be a gap in what Americans say about themselves and what they think about others when it comes to disability in the workplace and sports.

“The Hartford’s Disabling Perceptions Survey” was commissioned to understand perceptions of disability, as well as employers’ support of people with disabilities, explains a media release from The Hartford.

According to the release, the survey results note that most Americans said they would want to work and stay fit if they became physically disabled, but fewer felt strongly that people with disabilities could be world-class athletes or as productive as employees without physical limitations.

“Advances in technology and medicine, along with cultural changes, are helping to redefine what it means to be disabled, but this new research shows misconceptions linger,” says Mike Concannon, executive vice president of The Hartford’s Group Benefits business, in the release.

Most (76%) of Americans said they would find a way to be productive after a physical disability, even if it meant training and taking a new job. However, only one in four (26%) felt strongly that people with physical disabilities could perform most jobs done by individuals without disabilities.

Also according to the survey, 50% of Americans feel strongly that people with disabilities can be physically fit; 46% strongly agree that physically disabled employees are as productive as workers without a disability; and 44% strongly agree that people with physical disabilities can be world-class athletes.

Per the release, the reason for the conflicting opinions may be due to how Americans define disability. In defining disability, survey participants’ top answers were paraplegia or quadriplegia (77%), loss of a limb (70%), and blindness/visual impairment (69%).

The survey also delved into employer support after a disability. According to the release, while respondents said they want to return to work after a disability, they were uncertain of their employers’ support of people with disabilities.

Per the findings, one in four (25%) strongly agree their employer provides an adequate level of accommodations to people with physical disabilities; only 23% strongly agree their employer is up-to-date on the technology that allows people with physical disabilities to work there; and just 13% strongly agree their employer actively recruits people with disabilities.

“The survey highlighted Americans’ strong will to prevail, but also an opportunity for increased support of people with disabilities,” Concannon adds in the release.

For more information, visit The Hartford.

[Source(s): The Hartford, Business Wire]