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date: 25 January 2021

Abstract and Keywords

In American society, a job confers significant benefits, both extrinsic (standard of living) and intrinsic (psychosocial). For the vast majority of people with disabilities, access to these benefits has been severely limited, and even, in some cases, denied. Similar to other groups who have experienced attitudinal and environmental barriers to work, people with disabilities have engaged in a decades-long struggle to mitigate them. While there has been significant attention in the rehabilitation literature on barriers to employment, there has been much less attention toward understanding why people work, or the psychology of working for people with disabilities. This chapter presents an overview of some of the historical issues regarding work and people with disabilities, including vocational rehabilitation, attitudes, and predictors of employment. It concludes with a description of a theoretical model based on the psychology of working.

Keywords: disability, work, impairments, rehabilitation, models of disability

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