Article Details

Research Database: Article Details

Citation:  Michele Capella McDonnall (2018). Factors Associated with Employer Hiring Decisions Regarding People Who Are Blind or Have Low Vision. The Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness, 112 (2), 197-203.
Title:  Factors Associated with Employer Hiring Decisions Regarding People Who Are Blind or Have Low Vision
Authors:  Michele Capella McDonnall
Year:  2018
Journal/Publication:  The Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness
Publisher:  American Foundation for the Blind
Full text:   
Peer-reviewed?  Yes
NIDILRR-funded?  Yes

Structured abstract:

Background:  Negative employer attitudes are considered to be among the biggest barriers to employment for people who are visually impaired (that is, those who are blind or have low vision; Coffey, Coufopoulos, & Kinghom, 2014; Crudden & McBroom, 1999; Crudden, Williams, McBroom, & Moore, 2002; Kirchner, Johnson, & Harkins, 1997). These negative attitudes are believed to influence employers' hiring decisions; thus, an extensive amount of research has been conducted on employer attitudes towards people with disabilities (see Burke et al., 2013; Hernandez, Keys, & Balcazar, 2000; and Ju, Roberts, & Zhang, 2013, for comprehensive literature reviews). These studies have provided information about employers' attitudes and have documented factors associated with these attitudes (for example, exposure to people with disabilities and type of disability), but they have not documented a direct link between attitudes and hiring decisions. Other factors thought to influence hiring decisions regarding people with disabilities are: assistance from vocational rehabilitation and other organizations that support the employment of people with disabilities, qualifications of the applicant, and having an organizational commitment to hiring people with disabilities (Boni-Saenz, Heinemann, Crown, & Emanuel, 2006; Gilbride, Stensrud, Vandergoot, & Golden, 2003; Graffam, Shinkfield, Smith, & Polzin, 2002; Hernandez et al., 2008). A recent scoping review of the literature identified three factors that can potentially improve hiring of people with disabilities (providing information and support to employers, building relationships with employers by disability organizations, and utilizing hiring practices that invite people with disabilities), but acknowledged that little research exists that evaluates the effectiveness of these approaches (Gewurtz, Langan, & Shand, 2016). Since no empirical research has been conducted in this area specific to people who are visually impaired, the purpose of the present study was to identify factors that are associated with employers' hiring decisions regarding this population.

Disabilities served:  Blindness
Interventions:  Vocational rehabilitation
Outcomes:  Employment acquisition