Date of Award

Spring 1998

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Committee Director

Terry L. Dickinson

Committee Member

Robert M. McIntyre

Committee Member

Janis Sanchez-Hucles

Committee Member

Nancy T. Tippins


The problem of bias in the employment interview for applicants with disabilities was addressed with research to identify if a decision aid can increase the decision making accuracy of interviewers. A survey designed to allow participants to rate applicants with five disabilities for three jobs (with three essential functions listed for each job) was used to assess rating accuracy of two groups. Participants who received the decision aid in the form of a Guide to Interviewing People with Selected Disabilities were expected to have more rating accuracy than those participants without access to the Guide. Accuracy was assessed by comparing participant ratings to target scores generated by an expert panel. Participants who received the Guide did not make more accurate ratings than the participants who completed the survey without access to the Guide, but it is likely that the results are a function of the limitations of the training rather than the Guide. Raters were significantly less accurate when rating the applicant with multiple sclerosis, as hypothesized. However, raters were also significantly less accurate for the applicant with a hearing impairment, despite their familiarity with the disability. The significantly lenient rating may be a function of the raters not considering the intense hearing requirements of the job tasks as seriously as did the experts. The practical implications for these findings are discussed with respect to interviewing applicants with disabilities.