An Explorative and Comparative Study on the Attitudes of Employees towards Disabled and Chronic Ill Persons in the Workplace in Germany and Egypt: Development and Validation of a Questionnaire

Main Article Content

Asmaa Fathy Ahmed Abdelaziz , Ernst von Kardorff


Persons living with disabilities or suffering from chronic illness1 are still faced with various forms of stigma and
discrimination in the workplace despite widespread public discussions on inclusion, anti-discrimination legislation in the
last decade, and diversity policies in public administration and business companies all over the world. Concerning the labor
market, many programs had been launched to help disabled people to get to work or to retain their jobs. Despite these
activities, the unemployment rate for disabled people (i.e. those who would like to work and are available for employment)
is only slowly diminishing and has a range from about two times up to three times higher than the average rates of
unemployment (cf. WHO World Report on Disability, 2011, chapter 8). In our study, we were interested in the attitudes of
employees towards the employment of disabled persons based on the hypothesis that emotionally rooted and traditionally
conferred prejudices are functioning as powerful anyhow unseen barriers in the everyday situation of workplace
discrimination of persons with different disabilities or chronic illnesses. For this purpose, we developed and validated a
questionnaire with three subscales “social support”, “public life” and “workplace” – based on existing research on
disability at the workplace and respective instruments. Our non-representative exploratory sample for the validation of our
instrument comprised 97 German and 153 Egyptian employees. The results revealed that German employees showed more
positive attitudes than Egyptian employees towards disabled people. Results indicated that women in the German sample
held more positive attitudes while for the Egyptian sample there were no significant differences between male and female.
Older respondents showed more positive attitudes towards disabled and chronically ill persons than the younger ones. Our
questionnaire met the common criteria for validity and reliability.

Article Details