Date of Award

1-12-2011

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Sociology

First Advisor

D. Alex Heckert, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Rosalyn Darling, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

John A. Anderson, Ph.D.

Abstract

Clients with disabilities participating in vocational rehabilitation services and vocational rehabilitation professionals providing services have each developed unique disability beliefs, attitudes, and roles as a result of their personal experiences, established values, and societal interactions. Identifying the beliefs, attitudes, and roles related to disability among clients and professionals may help improve client-professional relationships. My dissertation research measured the beliefs, attitudes, and roles of 53 clients with disabilities receiving services at the Hiram G. Andrews Center, located in Johnstown, PA and 328 professionals employed at six of the eight rehabilitation centers in the United States. Professionals' beliefs, attitudes, and roles related to disability were measured using a modified version of Darling and Heckert's Questionnaire on Disability Identity and Opportunity. Clients' pre and post beliefs, attitudes, and roles related to disability were measured using Darling and Heckert‟s Questionnaire on Disability Identity and Opportunity. The results support the use of Darling and Heckert's Questionnaire on Disability Identity and Opportunity as an instrument in determining clients' and professionals' agreement with the particular variables of pride, exclusion, social model, and medical model. The results also support that agreement with the variables can be indicators of clients' and professionals' beliefs, attitudes, and roles related to disability.

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