ABSTRACT

Despite the general emphasis on the significance of offering Samhall employees activating work for the occupationally disabled and the official statements that the work is meaningful and developing, one supervisor declared: “I have people here with a university education that sit packing nails into plastic bags. I can think of it sometimes, but most often I dismiss it because it becomes too troubling.” One problem in this context, as one of his colleagues pointed out, is that “Samhall’s jobs are intended for the weakest people,” but that “even the strongest people have to perform these.” He described a department at one work place where a group of occupationally disabled employees sat assembling painters’ rollers, which entailed taking the roller holders from a carton, installing the rollers, then placing the finished product in another carton: “The work is perfect for several people in group, but for others is just too simple,” the supervisor observed. A salesman at Samhall said:

A member of corporate management pointed out: “One shouldn’t underestimate the ability of our employees. Many times we place limiting factors on them by deciding how things are.” Another Samhall manager stated: “Many are actually quite good at working.” In this context, an occupationally disabled employee claimed, “There is a lot of prejudice about us among the supervisors,” and another explained:

One manager at Samhall noted in the staff magazine that there was “a lot of prejudice about Samhall’s personnel, and great ignorance about what our employees are able to tackle successfully.”