PA-6601 14T2 Final Research Proposal
Disabled College Graduates Entering the Workforce
There are disability rights that assert that disabled individuals should have equal opportunity and access to all aspects of social life and key sites of power, including education and employment (Barnes, 1993). For example, The American with Disabilities Act gives civil rights protections to individuals with disabilities comparable to those provided to individuals on the basis of race, sex, color, age, national origin, and religion (Scheid 1998). Its objective was to increase employment opportunities and break down barriers to gaining employment for disabled people. Since the ADA and other disability legislation, previous studies have shown that employment rates for people with disabilities have declined. The primary objective of this research is to establish whether the workforce for college graduates with disabilities is cooperating with legislative and funding provisions currently available to promote equal opportunity in the workplace. Is there a connection between high unemployment rates and colleges graduates with disabilities? To establish whether the many laws in place for disabled people are effective, answering three important questions will aid in this. (1) Do college graduates with a disability have higher rates of unemployment than non-disabled graduates? (2) Are college graduates with a disability more disadvantaged than non-disabled graduates in the workforce? (3) Does the type of disability influence employment? The hypothesis is that there will be a positive correlation between college graduates with disabilities and low employment rates.
A Review of the Literature
There has been a variety of research conducted on the attitudes of employers and their hiring practices of people with disabilities. Despite the passage of the ADA of 1990, a number of studies have shown that employment rates of college graduates with disabilities are lower than those without disabilities. According to one study, although the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) aimed to expand opportunities for employment, the percentage of employed college graduates with disabilities has declined significantly since the act was executed (Shapiro,2000).
The statistics of employment vary depending upon how disability is measured. According to the ADA, disability is defined as a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a person who has a history or record of such an impairment, or a person who is perceived by others as having such and impairment (ada.gov). There is a vast debate on whether statistics of employment should include individuals with a disability that created a “work limitation.” It was presumed that people with that type of disability was less likely to be employed. The data showed higher levels of employment for individuals without a “work limitation.” To simplify what qualifies as a disability, Stapleton, Livermore and She (2009, 385) came up with a series of questions. These questions include but are not limited to: 1) is the individual blind or do they have serious difficulty seeing even when wearing glasses? 2) Is the person deaf or do they have serious difficulty hearing?
Authors Popovich, Scherbaum, and Polinko conducted two studies to assess the attitudes towards disabled individuals the workplace. The results showed a considerable difference of what constituted a disability. Overall, more physical and sensory-motor conditions were considered disabilities than psychological conditions (Popovich et al., 2003). Additionally, the conditions perceived to be disabilities did not match what’s covered by the ADA. Both gender and experience of disabled individuals were also found to forecast affective reactions and the sensibleness of accommodations