Screening In or Out Applicants with Disabilities: Interpreting Signals during the Job Application Process
AuthorDuncan, Kaylin Louise
AdvisorSias, Patricia M.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction, presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractDuring the job search, applicants receive many signals about a company through recruitment procedures and materials. These signals can alter applicants’ perceptions and behaviors in the employment process. Of particular concern, applicants with disabilities often encounter signals encouraging or discouraging their participation in the application process. I conducted a study examining how people with and without disabilities interpret the signal, the Voluntary Self-Identification of Disability (VSD) form, during the job application process. Moreover, I examined whether perceived stigma of disabilities listed on the form affects individuals’ likelihood to disclose a disability on the VSD form and apply for a job position requiring this form. Results indicate that respondents infer positive, negative, neutral, and conflicting interpretations of the VSD form during the job application process. Respondents noted the following themes in their interpretations of the VSD form: discrimination, privacy violation, assumption of dishonesty, legal reasons, person/job fit, equality, accommodations, and format. Individuals’ perceived stigma of disabilities on the VSD form was not associated with their likelihood to apply for a position. However, perceived stigma of mental health disabilities, but not physical, was negatively associated with individuals’ disclosure of a disability on the VSD form. With more insight on organizational signals, employers and policymakers can better design and develop recruitment materials to improve the application process for people with disabilities.
Degree ProgramGraduate College