Discrimination There were different viewpoints and expressions regarding how

Discrimination there were different viewpoints and

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Discrimination There were different viewpoints and expressions regarding how the participants conceptualized discrimination. Most did not feel discriminated against according to the legal de fi nition or on the basis of their disability. Discrimination, while real to some, was not the experience of the majority of participants in this study, although a few felt marginalized, inadequate, or discriminated against due to disability. In a second interview, however, Joan suggested that the disability community itself discriminated against her through exclusion. While she is not totally deaf, her hearing loss is not substantial enough for her to be considered disabled. Joan con- fi rmed her feelings of exclusion by the disability community: I don t fi t in the hearing world and don t fi t in the deaf world I feel like I am on the bottom of the minorities. This underscores the poignant feelings about discrimination by those within the disability community and supports the fact that discrimination exists in society at large. Notably, only two participants (both law school students) seemed somewhat familiar with the ADA and its regulations and protections for students and workers with disabilities. We checked for this knowledge among the participants during our second interviews. The organizations responsible for aiding disabled students might have been negligent in ADA education. One of these law students also mentioned her fi rst job, where she learned that working for the government sector is easier, an idea consistent with Bruyere s (2000) report that the public sector tends to provide more accommodations for workers with disabilities. The student indicated: My fi rst job was great I worked for a disability organization as an unpaid intern because they did not have the capacity to pay you. I did it for credit and I was going into the legal fi eld and tie in disability law with science and genomics. I have nothing Disability & Society 847
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bad to say about them; they were great to me. There I learned it was easier to work for the government because they are not supposed to discriminate. People in the government might make extra efforts to accommodate the needs of workers with disabilities and to respect their human rights, although it is hard to avoid social discrimination completely. Barriers or hindrances The participants in this study regarded barriers as anything that prevented them from reaching a career goal. Most responses to the barrier or hindrance question were not directly related to employment barriers. In this study, the list of barriers varied from what some of the participants referred to as hindrances in career choice to the inability to get into a law school due to poor grade point averages (GPA).
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