Patterns of Discrimination in Hiring Job Applicants With Disabilities: The Role of Disability Type, Job Complexity, and Public Contact

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ObjectiveTo evaluate the effects of disability type, job complexity, and public contact on hiring decisions.Design and ParticipantsAn Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA; 1990) fact sheet and matched resumes with vocational and medical histories including chronic mental illness, developmental disability, closed head injury, and back injury were provided to 295 undergraduate business-related majors, who rated the applicants' suitability for 2 job positions and work shifts.ResultsFindings indicated disparities in ratings of employability as a function of disability type. Paired comparisons yielded complementary findings, with effects of disability type and Disability Type × Job Complexity, but no effects of public contact.ConclusionsStereotyping and discrimination in employment decisions apparently persist, more than 10 years after the ADA.

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