Representations of the Americans with Disabilities Act employment-related issues in the Wall Street Journal (1990-2008): A feasibility study

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Abstract

This feasibility study examines the coverage of employment-related issues related to people with disabilities in the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. The study is a first in a series of future studies focusing on disability issues in the international economic media. A survey of 39 newspaper articles published in the Wall Street Journal, a leading and most circulated business newspaper in the USA. Specifically, it comprised articles taken from three periods: 1990, the year the Americans with Disabilities Act was enacted; 2000, a decade later; and 2008, the year the amendments were revised with respect to definitions and employment. Data were analyzed by quantitative and qualitative content analysis. The results suggest a mixed representation: a decline in negative representations of disability throughout the years alongside the emergence of a legal-fiscal discourse of a disability that depicts persons with disabilities as a fiscal burden on employers. It seems that the new image of disability presents conflicting interests between the mission of the law, promoting employers' hiring of people with disabilities, and the economic realities of accommodating them at the workplace. Additional research is needed to examine whether this image is unique to the economic media or may reflect a concern in the business community.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)184-186
Number of pages3
JournalInternational Journal of Rehabilitation Research
Volume35
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2012

Keywords

  • Americans with Disabilities Act
  • economic media
  • employment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

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