Date of Graduation

12-2011

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Rehabilitation Education (PhD)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Rehabilitation, Human Resources and Communication Disorders

Advisor

Brent Williams

Committee Member

Rick Roessler

Second Committee Member

Felicia Lincoln

Third Committee Member

Daniel B. Kissinger

Keywords

Psychology; Attitudes; Disability; Disclosure; Employment; Ethics; Invisible disabilities; Rehabilitation

Abstract

Rehabilitation professionals, persons with disabilities and employers were asked to participate in a focus group interview exploring the phenomena of disclosing invisible disabilities during the interview process. This Qualitative study examined disclosure of disability from each stakeholder's perspective in an effort to understand its impact on the interview. After transcribing the focus group interview and analyzing the data; five themes emerged reflecting each stakeholder's views on disclosure. The themes revealed the persistence of attitudinal barriers that people with disabilities face in seeking employment; if and when a person should disclose; what are the positive and negative aspects of disclosure and what can be done by the stakeholders to mitigate the process. The research revealed that the decision to disclose is a complex phenomenon and should be seriously contemplated prior to making this decision. This research will guide the process to determine if disclosure of invisible disabilities is appropriate for the person during the interview and will impact how rehabilitation professionals prepare and counsel clients on disclosure.

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