Date of Graduation

12-2011

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Rehabilitation (PhD)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Rehabilitation, Human Resources and Communication Disorders

Advisor

Brent Williams

Committee Member

Charles Stegman

Second Committee Member

Lynn Koch

Third Committee Member

Dan Kissinger

Keywords

Social sciences, Gender equity, Vocational rehabilitation

Abstract

Women with disabilities have different vocational rehabilitation (VR) experiences than men with disabilities. When they enter the VR system, they tend to be older, divorced, primary caregivers, more dependent on public assistance, and have less education and less work experience than their male counterparts. Given these differences, women may need to receive different treatment than men, yet the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Pub.L. 88-352, 78 Stat. 241, July 2, 1964) and the Equal Protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment state that men and women must be treated equally within the state-federal vocational rehabilitation system. Because they have been out of the workforce for longer periods of time than men, they may require educational services that can prepare them for work. They may also benefit from ancillary services such as childcare and transportation that would allow them to get the additional training or services they need to become successfully employed. Men experience higher numbers of successful closures in the VR system, which means that they are able to maintain employment for at least 90 days. Participants for the current study will be consumers with physical disabilities from the RSA-911 data set from fiscal year (FY) 2006. The study examined whether men and women with physical disabilities enter the vocational rehabilitation (VR) system with different types and amounts of various supports. To investigate the research hypotheses, linear, generalized logit chi-squared and one-way ANOVA tests were conducted to examine differences between women and men with physical disabilities at acceptance into the VR system. Results indicate differences for men and women with physical disabilities in terms of types and amounts of public support received. Implications for service provision and disability policies are discussed, as well as limitations of the study and recommendations for further research.

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