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A model of factors affecting the treatment of disabled individuals in organizations

A model of factors thought to affect the treatment of disabled individuals in organizations is presented. Specifically, the model suggests that person characteristics (e.g., attributes of the disabled person, attributes of the observer), environmental factors (i.e., legislation), and organizational characteristics (e.g., norms, values, policies, the nature of jobs, reward systems) combine to affect the way disabled individuals are treated in organizations. Furthermore, the model indicates that the relationships just noted are mediated by observers’ cognitions (i.e., categorization, stereotyping, expectancies) and affective states. Finally, the model predicts that the disabled person’s responses feed back to modify observers’ expectancies and organizational characteristics. Implications for conducting research on disability issues and facilitating the inclusion of disabled individuals in organizational settings are discussed.