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Title:Vocational outcomes of university-educated persons: A comparison of persons with and without disabilities
Author(s):Broadbent, Emer Dean
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Adamek, Margaret
Department / Program:Social Work
Discipline:Social Work
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Psychology, Social
Social Work
Education, Vocational
Abstract:Historically, persons with disabilities have suffered from employment discrimination, yielding significant differences between persons with and without disabilities in acquisition of important benefits including: full-time and/or part-time employment, equal income, health and retirement benefits, and promotion opportunities. Amelioration of these differences is of significant importance to helping professionals, particularly social workers, who are concerned with advocating for the equity and equality of opportunity for all persons suffering from the negative effects of discrimination. The Social Work profession seeks to facilitate a satisfactory person-in-environment fit for the disenfranchised, no matter the rationale for disparate treatment. Current research suggests that acquisition of education serves as a crucial factor in minimizing employment discrepancies between persons with and without disabilities. The literature documents that as individuals with disabilities acquire high school and junior college-level education, the differences between their employment circumstances and those of persons without disabilities diminishes. Studies have not examined the impact of a bachelor's or graduate education on employment outcomes.
In this study, 152 persons with disabilities who graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) between 1951 and 1993 are shown to have displayed no significant differences in the acquisition of many important employment outcomes, including full-time v. part-time employment status, personal income, household income, employee benefits, and job satisfaction, when compared to 152 graduates without disabilities matched by gender, college major, and graduation date. There were also no significant between-group differences reported in occupational prestige levels, retirement circumstances, or difficulty of obtaining a first job. Significant differences were, however, found in the likelihood of being currently employed, as well as the occurrence of disability and gender-based employment discrimination, income sources, and respondents' perception of their ability to get medical benefits if they left their current job.
These findings extend the existing literature which notes a correlation between the acquisition of education and the equalization of economic and other employment outcomes for persons with disabilities as compared to persons without disabilities. This study points out the need to further examine the nature and existence of disability-based employment differentials, to seek solutions to the employment problems that persons with disabilities face, and to promote professional advocacy for acquisition of higher education as a life option for persons who have disabilities.
Issue Date:1996
Rights Information:Copyright 1996 Broadbent, Emer Dean
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9712204
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9712204

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