The disclosure dilemma: when and why job applicants differ in disclosing their disability status

Menendez, Jaclyn, author
Cleveland, Jeanette, advisor
Murphy, Kevin, committee member
Gibbons, Alyssa, committee member
Dik, Bryan, committee member
Conroy, Samantha, committee member
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This study explores the complex issue involving the individual and organizational factors that influence an applicant's disclosure of their disability status on job applications, as well as their perceived likelihood of experiencing discrimination. Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act sets a hiring aspiration for 7% of all government organizations to be comprised of people with disabilities, and now requires applicants to fill out a disclosure form of disability status in order to track progress. One problem with this goal is the low disclosure rates among applicants with disabilities. The present study manipulates two factors that influence disclosure rates and discrimination expectations, and develops a theoretical framework for how these factors may be associated with an applicant's disability identity in the workplace. It is hypothesized that disclosure rates are affected by two organizational variables (organizational diversity climate and supervisor support), and how disability identity in the workplace moderates these relationships. Results show that organizational variables do not have a significant impact on willingness to disclose one's disability status on the voluntary disclosure form, nor do these organizational variables affect anticipated discrimination in the workplace. Disability identity was shown to significantly predict anticipated work discrimination. Future research may use these findings to better tailor strategies for increasing disclosure rates based on an applicant's disability identity in the workplace.
2018 Spring.
Includes bibliographical references.
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