Authors: Graham, Carolyn W. | Inge, Katherine J. | Wehman, Paul | Seward, Hannah E. | Bogenschutz, Matthew D.
BACKGROUND: Extant research has reported on the factors associated with seeking and maintaining employment for individuals with different types of physical disabilities, such as cerebral palsy (CP), multiple sclerosis (MS), and spinal cord injuries (SCI). Some of these factors are barriers and others are facilitators. However, research has not determined whether the inhibiting and facilitating employment experiences of people with physical disabilities are similar across type of physical disability. OBJECTIVE: The goal of this study was to compare the employment experiences of people with physical disabilities with three different disabilities including CP, MS, and SCI to determine whether
…these employment experiences are similar. METHODS: Homogenous focus groups were conducted with individuals with CP, MS, and SCI concerning their employment experiences. These 18 focus groups were conducted telephonically, audio recorded, and lasted approximately 60 minutes each. Data from each disability type was analyzed separately and across disability type. RESULTS: Two themes were common among participants in the three disability types: 1) Health and 2) Barriers to Overcome. However, there were differences among the disability types within these themes. Some of these differences were unique to MS. CONCLUSIONS: This study provides a perspective on working with CP, MS, or SCI informed directly by individuals living with these disabilities, whether they were employed or unemployed, and gives a voice to the employment experiences of the individuals. The findings present information on the similarities and differences that individuals with various physical disabilities face when working.
Keywords: Physical disabilities, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, SCI, employment, employment barriers, vocational rehabilitation
Citation: Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation,
vol. 48, no. 2, pp. 207-218, 2018
Price: EUR 27.50