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Original Research Articles

Work Ability of Employees with Disabilities in Malaysia


Seyed Sobhan Lavasani,

Faculty of Educational Studies, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), MY
About Seyed Sobhan

Sobhan is a Ph.D candidate at the Professional Development and Continuing Education Department of University Putra Malaysia. He is currently working as a researcher at the Institute for Social Science Studies (IPSAS) in Kuala lumpur. Her research interests include: employment of people with disability, human resource development, employees work ability, job satisfaction, core self evaluation and diversity at work. Sobhan's PhD work explores core self evaluation and job satisfaction as a source of work ability among employees with disability; examining the role of personality traits, specific facets of job satisfaction and employment status in the relationship between core self-evaluation and work ability.

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NorWahiza Abdul Wahat ,

Institute for Social Science Studies (IPSAS), Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), MY
About NorWahiza Abdul

The author (Ph.D) is a senior lecturer in Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) and is currently Head of Laboratory Youth Citizenship and Leadership Studies at Institute of Social Science Studies (IPSAS). Her main areas of research interest are: organizational psychology, career development, leadership, citizenship and employment of people with disability.

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Adriana Ortega

Institute for Social Science Studies (IPSAS), Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), MY
About Adriana

Adriana Ortega (PhD) is currently working as Research Fellow at the Institute for Social Science Studies (IPSAS), University Putra Malaysia in Selangor, Malaysia. She has been working in occupational health psychology related research field since 2000; and has extensive experience in organizational behavior research; her research profile can be access at:

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Purpose: Based on a sample of employees with disability, this study aimed to: (1) evaluate the construct validity of work ability index (WAI), core self-evaluation scale (CSES) and job in general index (JIG), in order to make a valid and reliable assessment of their work ability, job satisfaction and core self-evaluation; (2) assess their levels of work ability, job satisfaction, and core self-evaluation; (3) investigate the associations of work ability with job satisfaction and core self-evaluation among them; and (4) determine which demographic characteristics significantly affect the work ability of employees with disability.

Methods: The sample consisted of 275 employees with disability. Data was collected using a self-administered survey. The analysis focussed on: (1) CFA- for evidence of the construct validity of the employed scales; (2) Descriptive analysis - for evaluating the variables of the study; (3) Pearson correlation analysis – for understanding the simple correlation between variables of the study; and, (4) One-way ANOVA- for identifying the demographic factors that influence the work ability of employees with disability.

Results: The findings indicated that 29.5% of the participants had poor levels of work ability, while 35.3% reported moderate levels of work ability. Also, 49.1% of the participants reported moderate levels of core self-evaluation, and 70.5% exhibited high job satisfaction. In this study, work ability was found to be associated with core self-evaluation and job satisfaction. Significant differences in work ability levels were found in terms of age, level ofeducation and employment status of the respondents.

Conclusion: Work ability among employees with disabilities did not seem to be influenced merely by individual health status. Attitudinal and dispositional factors appeared to have a significant impact on their levels of work ability. The potential positive impact of  education and employment status on employees’ levels of work ability are highlighted in this study.

How to Cite: Lavasani, S.S., Wahat, N.A. and Ortega, A., 2015. Work Ability of Employees with Disabilities in Malaysia. Disability, CBR & Inclusive Development, 26(2), pp.22–46. DOI:
Published on 22 Jul 2015.


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