Research - Disabilities

The State of Learning Disabilities: Facts, Trends and Emerging Issues

Cortiella, Candace and Horowitz, Sheldon H, (2014.) New York: National Center for Learning Disabilities.

This comprehensive report by the National Center for Learning Disabilities explains what learning disabilities are, and illustrates how society perceives people with them. Read report here.

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The Dyslexia Experience: Difference, Disclosure, Labelling, Discrimination and Stigma

Alexander-Passe, Neil ( 2015). Asia Pacic Journal of Developmental Dierences2, 2: 202 233. DOI: 10.3850/S2345734115000290.

This article explores a research study of 22 adults with dyslexia, and found that most perceived stigma and discrimination and experienced depression as a result. These findings were not correlated with whether the participants felt their dyslexia was a positive or not. Read article here.

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The Disability Employment Puzzle: A Field Experiment on Employer Hiring Behavior

Ameri, M., Schur, L., Adya, M., Bentley, S., McKay, P., Kruse, D. (2015.) National Bureau of Economic Research,  NBER Working Paper No. 21560.

Researchers sent out over 6,000 resumes in response to job postings for accountant positions. The fictitious resumes were broken down into thirds: 1/3 mentioned a physical disability, 1/3 mentioned Asperger’s Syndrome, and 1/3 did not mention any disability. The fictional applicants with disabilities received 26% fewer responses to their applications than those without disabilities. Read abstract here.


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Stigmatized Illnesses and Health Care

Sartorius, Norman (2007.) Croatian Medical Journal; 48(3): 396–397.
Dr. Sartorius examines the benefits received by people with disability, and the real costs of related stigma. He then asks about the stigmatizing behavior of  professionals working in healthcare systems and states that they have as much to gain from ending stigma as the individuals experiencing the stigma themselves.  Read article here. 

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Stigma and Self-stigma Associated with Acquired Hearing Loss in Adults

Gagné J-P, Southall K, Jennings MB. (2011.) Hearing Review;18(8):16-22.

Social stigma and self stigma are common among people with hearing loss, and result in denial of the condition and avoiding appropriate treatment (hearing aids.) Practitioners should be aware of the psychological ramifications of hearing loss; counseling has proven beneficial to address self-stigma and assist with communication with family members about situation.


Read article here. 

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Stigma in mothers of deaf children

Hossein Ebrahimi, Eissa Mohammadi, Mohammad Ali Mohammadi, Akbar Pirzadeh, Hamzeh Mahmoudi, and Ismail Ansari (2015.) Iran Journal of Otorhinolaryngology; 27(79): 109–118.

The researchers found that mothers of deaf children experienced scorn, shame and stigmatization that impacted their emotional health. Mothers of children with cochlear implants perceived less stigma than mothers of children who did not. The researchers concluded that mothers’ psychological well-being should be considered as part of the children’s treatment plan. Read abstract here.

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The stigma attached to hearing impairment

Hetu, R (1996.) Scand Audiol Suppl.;43:12-24.

The author analyzes how hearing loss threatens one’s social identity, and its stigma results in delayed treatment. Read abstract here.

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A Model of (Often Mixed) Stereotype Content: Competence and Warmth Respectively Follow from Status and Competition

Fiske, S.T., A.J.C. Cuddy, P. Glick, and J. Xu. (2002.) Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 82(6): 878–902.

Stereotype Content Model hypothesizes that competence and warmth determine stereotyping, depending on the balance (high or low) of each. The researchers explored  gender, ethnicity, race, class, age, and disability as they pertained to various combinations of competence and warmth. Read article here. 

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Diagnostic Labels, Stigma, and Participation in Research Related to Dementia and Mild Cognitive Impairment

Garand, L, Lingler, J.H., O’Conner, K, and Dew, M.A. (2009.) Res Gerontol Nursing; 2(2): 112–121.

While labeling dementia and mild cognitive impairment (MCI) provide valuable therapeutic and research benefits, the stigma that is associated with the label can interfere with participation in clinical trials and accessing care. Researchers must work to overcome the barriers that surface as a result of the stigma.  Read manuscript here. 

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Stigma of a Label Educational Expectations for High School Students Labeled with Learning Disabilities

Shifer, D (2013.)  Journal of Health and Social Behavior54:4, 462-480. 

The author finds that consistent with the Labeling Theory, lower performance of students with learning disabilities is attributed stigma: parents and to a larger effect, teachers, have lower expectations of students’ capabilities. Read article here.

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Reconsidering the stigma of physical disability: Wheelchair use and public kindness.

Cahill, S. E. and Eggleston, R. (1995). The Sociological Quarterly, 36: 681–698

This study explores how people who use wheelchairs are treated in public places, particularly when they are asking for assistance. Read abstract here.


Red-Shirting College Students with Disabilities.

Trammell, J. (2009). Learning Assistance Review, 14(2), 21-31.

College and university students with disabilities, both visible and invisible, must deal with what sociologist Erving Goffman called information management; they must control and protect their stigmatized identity by considering who to tell what, how much to tell, and when to tell. Read article here.

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