Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


This thesis describes a measurement of personnel staff attitudes and perceptions toward the employability of disabled job applicants. More specifically, direct comparisons among three types of disability categories were made using Osgood's Semantic Scaling Method. Sixty employment professionals of the Lincoln Human Resources Management Association rated a job applicant with physical disability, with mental retardation, and one with mental illness on the basis of 15 paired opposite adjectives. These adjectives described a variety of attributes which could be grouped into evaluative, potency, and activity dimensions of semantic space. Respondents completed a four-page questionnaire which rated physically disabled, mentally retarded, and mentally ill job applicants and included a personal data sheet. The data from the 60 completed questionnaires were tabulated and compared in the evaluative, potency, and activity dimensions using a standard two-tailed t test. Significant differences were discovered among selected groups.


A Thesis Presented to the Department of Speical Education and the Communication Disorders and the Faculty of the Graduate College University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Arts: Mental Retardation University of Nebraska at Omaha. Copyright 1991, Karol Ruth Oldenburg