Research shows there is demand for, and shortage of, trained information technology (IT) workers. Research also shows the percentage of working individuals with disabilities is substantially lower than the percentage of working people without a disability.
Increasing the employment of individuals with disabilities in IT-related jobs would reduce the shortage for trained IT workers and increase the employment of individuals with disabilities.
- Identify barriers to and facilitators of the hiring, retention, advancement, and wages of individuals with disabilities.
- Test strategies to improve hiring, retention, advancement and wages of individuals with disabilities.
- Provide training and disseminate research findings.
- We will develop a theoretical model incorporating environmental factors, organizational factors, attitudinal factors, and individual characteristics to predict hiring rate, advancement rate, retention rate, and wages of individuals with disabilities.
- We will survey and interview:
- human resource managers at IT and non-IT companies (defined by Information Technology Association of America),
- individuals with disabilities working at these companies,
- individuals with disabilities who graduated from Federally funded IT training and employment programs,
- directors of these training programs, and
- IT trainers
- A five-year longitudinal approach will identify trends in these measures over time. Case studies, descriptive statistics, and multivariate regression analyses will be performed on the outcome measures to assess the influences of predictor measures, in combination and alone.
Training and Dissemination:
Training activities will allow for the distribution of the research findings to the diverse target audiences:
- IT trainers and professionals
- persons with disabilities in diverse employment settings
- other researchers
- relevant policymakers
- IT training certification bodies
- human resource managers
- community colleges and university continuing education programs
- Centers for Independent Living and other disabilities-related organizations
Training and dissemination strategies used to reach these audiences will include:
- trade association and conference breakout sessions
- conference presentations
- audio conferences
- self-paced online distance learning courses
- online listservs
The dissemination activities will be offered in numerous formats such as:
- information briefs and magazine articles geared toward trade publications
- journal articles
- a project website with links to online resources such as a listserv and electronic bulletin board
** IT Works is 100 percent funded by U.S. Department of Education grant H133A011803