Sensory Disabilities

"The everyday ADA: The influence of requesters' assessments on decisions to ask for needed accommodation.

Baldridge, D. C. (2002). "The everyday ADA: The influence of requesters' assessments on decisions to ask for needed accommodation." Dissertation Abstracts International Section A: Humanities and Social Sciences, 62(8-A): 2807.

The Americans with Disabilities Act grants the right to workplace accommodations. While accommodations are often essential to assure equal employment opportunities, there is evidence that people with disabilities often withhold requests for needed accommodations. This dissertation examines the information processing that precedes requesters' decisions to make, or withhold, requests. Specifically, I examine the influence of accommodation attributes and requesters' assessments of the personal consequences of asking for accommodation on requesters' decisions. First, in-depth interviews with a small group of people who are deaf and people who are hard-of-hearing were used to gain an understanding of the phenomena and combined with extant accommodation, help seeking and planned behavior theory to develop a model and hypotheses. Second, data from 238 surveys was analyzed using logistic regression analysis to test the hypotheses. Third, follow-up interviews were conducted to further illuminate findings. Accommodation attributes were hypothesized to both influence requesters' decisions directly and indirectly through their influence on requesters' assessments. Based on the initial interviews, and the help seeking and accommodation literatures, three specific assessments were hypothesized to be of particular importance: compliance, personal cost and normative appropriateness. As hypothesized, compliance-a requester's assessment regarding the likelihood of compliance with accommodation requests, and normative appropriateness-requester's assessment of what others think they should do-were both highly significant predictors. However, personal cost-concerns regarding inequity, indebtedness, loss of freedom/restrictions and damage to one's public image-was not significant. Based on the initial interviews, and the help seeking and accommodation literatures, three specific accommodation attributes were hypothesized to influence requesters' decisions: effectiveness, monetary cost and ease of use. As hypothesized, effectiveness was a strong predictor of decisions. In addition to directly influencing requesters' decisions, effectiveness also influenced requesters' compliance and normative appropriateness assessments. Contrary to expectations monetary cost and ease of use were not significant predictors of decisions. However, while these variables did not have a direct influence, both were significant predictors of requesters' assessments, and thus, had an important indirect influence. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

Withholding accommodation requests: the role of workgroup supportiveness & requester attributes.

Baldridge, D. C. (2005). "Withholding accommodation requests: the role of workgroup supportiveness and requester attributes." Academy of Management Proceedings: D1-D6.

Past studies show that people with disabilities often do not request needed workplace accommodation yet little is known about factors that influence the extent of this behavior. Based on the help-seeking and disabilities literatures, workgroup supportiveness is thought to be a dominant factor yet the strength of its influence can also be expected to vary depending on attributes of the requester's disability and the presence of others with disabilities. Survey data from 555 people who have hearing impairments is used to test hypothesized relationships. Findings are consistent with help-seeking theory that asserts the importance of fear of losing power and status in determining the extent to which people withhold requests for assistance.

Accommodating specific job functions for people with hearing impairments.

Dowler, D. L., & Walls, R. T. (1996). "Accommodating specific job functions for people with hearing impairments." Journal of Rehabilitation, 62(3): 35-43.

Presents an investigation of 392 job-accommodation cases involving workers who were deaf or hard of hearing in order to describe the type of job, essential functions, career progression and accommodation suggestion. Background on the Americans with Disabilities Act; Classification of the job type; Criteria distinguishing essential function from a marginal one; Accommodation suggestions.

Requests by persons with visual impairment for large-print accommodations.

Frank, J. J. (2000). "Requests by persons with visual impairment for large-print accommodations." Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness, 94(11): 716-719.

A study investigated the experiences of 14 people with visual impairments in attempting to exercise their civil rights to equal access to print. Results found they experienced long waits for large-print accommodations, negative reactions to requests, a lack of quality in the materials, and misinformation about accommodations.

Barriers to the accommodation request process of the Americans with disabilities act.

Frank, J. J., & Bellini, J. (2005). "Barriers to the accommodation request process of the Americans with disabilities act." Journal of Rehabilitation, 71(2): 28-39.

The accommodation request process of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) was explored using a qualitative interview approach with 20 informants who are blind. Five themes emerged pertaining to the barriers to requesting accommodation experienced by the informants: Broken Trust and Betrayal, Multiplicity of Barriers, Fear of Retaliation, Problems with Technology, and the Concept of Print. Two additional themes, Habit and Successful Means of Acquiring Accommodation, pertained to strategies informants used to by-pass the ADA process in order to accomplish their goals. Negative responses to accommodation requests inhibit further requests as people with disabilities attempt to accomplish their goals using more effective means. If this continues, the promise of the ADA to create a society where discrimination does not continue to limit opportunities for persons with disabilities will be unfulfilled.

Conditions influencing the availability of accommodations for workers who are deaf or hard-of-hearing.

Geyer, P. D., & Schroedel, J. G. (1999). "Conditions influencing the availability of accommodations for workers who are deaf or hard-of-hearing." Journal of Rehabilitation, 65(2): 42-50.

Very little information is available to document the extent to which employers provide accommodations to workers with a hearing loss or any other disability. The availability of 19 specific types of work accommodations was studied for a sample of 232 employees who are deaf or hard-of-hearing with varying levels of postsecondary training. Availability levels ranged from a low of 13% for computer-assisted note taking to a high of 80% for hearing persons answering the telephone as an accommodation. Availability rates were found to fluctuate in relation to attributes of both employees (need, education level, and type of occupation) and employers (size and type of employer). Results in general are consistent with hypotheses derived from theory and prior research. Research and practical implications are discussed.

A model of successful work experience for employees who are visually impaired: The results of a study.

Golub, D. B. (2006). "A model of successful work experience for employees who are visually impaired: The results of a study." Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness, 100(12): 715-725.

This study explored the factors that contribute to a successful work experience for employees who are visually impaired from the perspective of employers. The employers who were interviewed emphasized the dual responsibility that employees have to empower their own success and that employers have to enable the employees' success. In addition, an integrative model of successful employment was developed from the interviews with the employers.

Deaf adults tell their stories: Perspectives on barriers to job advancement and on-the-job accommodations.

Mowry, R. L. and Anderson, G. B. (1993). "Deaf adults tell their stories: Perspectives on barriers to job advancement and on-the-job accommodations." Volta Review, 95(4): 367-377.

40 24-57 yr olds who are deaf participated in direct, in-depth interviews concerning perceptions about job advancement and on-the job accommodations. 22 Ss were employed and 18 were unemployed at the time of the interview. Analyses suggested that characteristics of the worker and the work setting were factors that contributed to or impeded job advancement opportunities. Ss who sought to obtain advancement were assertive in efforts to obtain training and seek out promotion opportunities. Ss not actively seeking often perceived their deafness as restricting or limiting opportunities for advancement. In general, employers were not perceived as accommodating to the worker who is deaf. Most accommodations related to spoken rather than written language communication. Sample responses and recommendations for employers and employees are included. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2007 APA, all rights reserved)

Effects of a social competence training program on accommodation request activity, situational self-efficacy, & Americans with Disabilities Act knowledge among employed people with visual impairments & blindness.

Rumrill, P. D. (1999). "Effects of a social competence training program on accommodation request activity, situational self-efficacy, and Americans with Disabilities Act knowledge among employed people with visual impairments and blindness." Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 12(1): 25-32.

This article describes an experimental training program to increase knowledge, confidence, and participation in the Americans with Disabilities Act's Title I accommodation request process among employees who are blind or visually impaired (N=46). Participants in the experimental condition (n=23) completed a structured interview to identify their needs for reasonable accommodations, received detailed information about Title I provisions and about national accommodation resources, and completed an intensive social competence/self-advocacy program to develop skills in requesting on-the-job accommodations from their employers. Compared to a matched and randomly assigned control group (n=23), experimental participants were significantly more knowledgeable, confident, and active in the accommodation request process at a 16-week follow-up. Implications for Vocational Rehabilitation policy and practice are also discussed.

Situational assessment of the accommodation needs of employees who are visually impaired.

Rumrill, P. D., Roessler, R. T., Battersby-Longden, J. C., & Schuyler, B. R. (1998). "Situational assessment of the accommodation needs of employees who are visually impaired." Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness, 92(1): 42-54.

In a study of the career maintenance needs of 35 employees with visual impairments in Vermont and Massachusetts, barriers to job retention were assessed in four areas: accessibility of work sites, performance of essential functions, job mastery, and job satisfaction. Recommendations for reasonable accommodations and rehabilitation services are provided. (Author/CR)

Profiles of on-the-job accommodations needed by professional employees who are blind.

Rumrill, P. D., Schuyler, B. R., & Longden, J. C. (1997). "Profiles of on-the-job accommodations needed by professional employees who are blind." Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness, 91(1): 66-76.

Presents 5 case studies of professional employees (4 females and 1 male, aged 31-55 yrs) who are blind and the postemployment accommodations they needed in 4 areas: worksite accessibility, performance of essential job functions, job mastery, and job satisfaction. Ss completed the Work Experience Survey (R. T. Roessler, 1995), an assessment instrument that can be used to engage employees who are visually impaired or blind in identifying and removing barriers to maintaining and advancing their careers. These case studies illustrate that even successful, professional employees who are blind encounter barriers at work that may thwart the maintenance and advancement of their careers. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2007 APA, all rights reserved)

"Job accommodations in the workplace for persons who are deaf or hard of hearing: Current practices & recommendations.

Scherich, D. L. (1996). "Job accommodations in the workplace for persons who are deaf or hard of hearing: Current practices and recommendations " Journal of Rehabilitation, 62(2): 27-35.

This is a report of two surveys that examine current practices in the provision of workplace accommodations for persons who are deaf or hard of hearing. Results show that situations considered the most difficult for persons who are deaf or hard of hearing are group or multi-speaker situations. However, the majority of accommodations requested and in use are more appropriate for one-one communication situations. A limited number of and type of accommodations were identified by both workers and employers. It is felt that both employers and workers may lack knowledge about appropriate accommodation options and the benefits derived from providing those accommodations. The following are recommended to facilitate workplace of employees who are deaf or hard of hearing: (a) increase knowledge about accommodation resource information (b) develop problem-solving training to help workers identify appropriate accommodation options, and (c) provide workers with skills in using a “marketing” approach to request on-the-job accommodations.

Accommodations in the workplace for people who are hard of hearing: Perceptions of employees.

Scherich, D., & Mowry, R. L. (1997). "Accommodations in the workplace for people who are hard of hearing: Perceptions of employees." Journal of the American Deafness & Rehabilitation Association, 31(1): 31-43.

This report describes survey results which highlight current practices in the provision of work place accommodations for persons who are deaf or hard of hearing. Results from 201 Ss show that situations considered the most difficult for persons who are deaf or hard of hearing are group or multi-speaker situations. However, the majority of accommodations requested and in use are more appropriate for one-on-one situations. Because respondents identified a limited number of accommodations in use in the work place, it is felt that perhaps employers and workers lack knowledge about appropriate accommodation options. The following are recommended to facilitate work place accommodations of employees who are deaf or hard of hearing: (a) increasing knowledge about accommodation resource information, (b) development of problem-solving training to help workers identify appropriate accommodations, and (c) provide workers with skills in using a marketing approach to request on-the-job accommodations. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2007 APA, all rights reserved)