Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Health Related Sciences

First Advisor

Christine A. Reid


Finding and maintaining employment is an ongoing problem for persons with disabilities, especially those with brain injuries. State vocational rehabilitation agencies are the primary authority responsible for providing employment-related services for individuals with disabilities throughout the United States. Little effort has been committed to identifying disparities in health and rehabilitation services provided to Americans with disabilities, particularly those with brain injuries. The purpose of this investigation was to utilize Aday and Andersen's Framework for the Study of Access to examine racial disparity within the Rehabilitation Services Administration 911 Database, and thus the vocational rehabilitation system, among clients with brain injury. Upon review of the descriptive findings, Whites and Asian or Pacific Islanders were more likely to be accepted for rehabilitation than Blacks and American Indians or Alaskan Natives.

Acceptance rates for males and females were similar. Clients, who received their primary source of support from “other” sources at the time of application, were least likely to be accepted for vocational rehabilitation. Hispanics appeared to have lower acceptance rates than non-Hispanics. Persons with greater than a high school education were more likely to be accepted for rehabilitation than persons with less education who had completed schooling through the regular education system. Exhaustive CHAID findings suggest that racial disparity in rehabilitation acceptance rates is not a clear cut issue. Each of the racial groups was more likely to be accepted for rehabilitation under different circumstances. Consequently, a definitive broadcast statement about racial disparity within the Federal Rehabilitation System cannot be made. With regard to reason for closure, although the Chi-square analyses for the current investigation were significant, the degree of association was extremely modest. There did not appear to be a practical difference between White and non-White clients with regard to reason for closure. Future research, and practice and policy implications are discussed.


Scanned, with permission from the author, from the original print version, which resides in University Archives.


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Date of Submission