Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Rehabilitation Counseling

First Advisor

Dr. Irmo Marini

Second Advisor

Dr. Roy Chen

Third Advisor

Dr. Jesus Tanguma


Despite the laws that are in place to ensure equal employment opportunities for persons with disabilities, there continues to be a disparity in employment rates for persons with disabilities when compared to persons without disabilities. Understanding factors that influence employers disposition to hire and retain persons with disabilities is the first step towards developing a guide for professionals that provide direct job placement services to this population in developing an educational intervention plan that is conducive to employers being more receptive to hiring persons with disabilities.

Currently there are many studies that focus on employers’ attitudes towards hiring and retaining persons with disabilities from different perspectives. The purpose of this study is to survey and explore factors that influence employer’s disposition to hire and retain persons with disabilities and devise a scale that goes beyond attitudes. The survey instrument was developed based on review of the literature. To assess the factor structure and internal consistency of the scale an exploratory factor analysis was performed on the survey response items to establish reliability and validity. The present study presents an instrument that goes beyond attitudes towards hiring and retaining persons with disabilities. The scale also assesses knowledge areas related to The Americans with Disabilities Act, disability and employer resources for persons with disabilities. Data was collected from employers located in Cameron and Hidalgo counties located in the Border Region of South Texas (N = 190). The results from the exploratory factor analysis provided a four-factor solution with 16 items. The factors were labeled Fears and Concerns, Employers Resources for Persons with Disabilities, ADA Competence and Knowledge of Disability. The scale demonstrated overall internal consistency of .709. The discussion focuses on utility of the scale, recommendations for future research and limitations for the study.


Copyright 2018 Javier Nazario Rodriguez. All Rights Reserved.