Elements of Employment Related Disclosure of Disability after Brain Injury
Burnhill, David Asher
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Few studies have examined the elements of disclosing a disability in the workplace. Those few studies had a primary focus on reasonable accommodations (RA) where the disclosure process was either secondary or tertiary to the study. Further, there have been no studies to date which have examined elements of disclosure for individuals with brain injury (BI). Disclosure of disability is a crucial first step in the request process for a reasonable accommodation in the workplace and is required by the ADA for individuals requesting job related accommodations. This study examined the (a) experiences of work-related disability disclosure for individuals with BI, (b) the injury, demographic and other factors associated with the decision to disclose a disability at work, and (c) employment-related outcomes associated with disclosure. The primary goal of the current study is to describe the population of people with brain injury who disclose their disability in the workplace and to make inferences about the contributing factors involved in the disclosure process. The study used a cross-sectional survey methods research design. The study consisted of 200 individuals recruited from an online survey hosted on the Brain Injury Association of America's website. Of these participants, 144 (74.6%) disclosed their disability on at least one job and 91 (45%) were currently working. Level of education (X2 =11.945, 3, p=.008), self-efficacy score (F=7.52; p=.007) and time between injury and current age (F=4.56; p=.034) were significantly related to disclosure. Logistic regression analyses were used to examine the combined effects of several predictor variables with disclosure. In this analysis, only time since injury and self-efficacy (SE) scores were significant, where higher SE scores increased the odds of disclosure, and time since injury decreases the odds of disclosure (the more recent the injury, the more likely the individual was to disclose).