Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Jobs, disabilities, and you: An accessible job interview communication training tool for persons with disabilities
by Kotow, Yuushi, M.S., California State University, Long Beach, 2013, 108; 1527387
Abstract (Summary)

I have designed and implemented a new online communication training tool (XHTML, CSS, PHP, Javascript, MySQL) that potentially maximizes a job candidate's ability to obtain job offers. All demographic statistics show people with disabilities as the largest minority group currently unemployed in the United States. Those who seek work have a higher chance of being unemployed, find a low-level job, or find part-time employment. With communication training, job candidates gain the ability to market their skills to potential employers and increase the likelihood of obtaining a job offer. I researched into ADA law that provided guidelines when developing the system and discuss a job candidate's rights in each step of the interview process. Using a Model-View-Controller (MVC) based framework, I have built a system that adapts to a user's disability, and presents them with a tailored list of interview questions and answers. For this paper, mobility and visual disabilities were focused on. The database contains legal interview questions, illegal questions under ADA law, and gray area questions (questions that may seem illegal but really not). This allows us to challenge the communication skills and knowledge of the user and encourage them to learn how to improve. PHP modules were built to be flexible and independent from each other. Different modules can be loaded and unloaded in the Controllers thereby allowing flexibility in the system. Having independent modules also reduces the time to debug code. Participants are given multiple choice answers to each interview question in a 10-question training session and rated based on their performance. Answers are assigned points (from 1 to 4) and are calculated at the end of a training session. A group of California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) students were given a 2-part survey before and after communication training and provided promising results on the effectiveness of the system. Overall, attitudes of participants showed the entire group agreed that communication is a key aspect in a job interview and that communication training would help them obtain more job offers. Participants that completed part-2 of the survey indicated that communication training through the system has overall helped their abilities. Long-term usage of the system could potentially show an increase in job interview performance (i.e., job interviews vs. job offers) and therefore, increasing the employment rate for people with disabilities.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Golshani, Forouzan
Commitee: Englert, Burkhard, Robinson, Douglas
School: California State University, Long Beach
Department: Computer Engineering and Computer Science
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 52/05M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Occupational psychology, Organizational behavior, Computer science
Keywords: Accessibility, Disability, Job interview, Training tools, Web development
Publication Number: 1527387
ISBN: 978-1-303-76662-6
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