Article Correctness Is Author's Responsibility: Employers’ implicit attitudes about the competence of people who are blind.

The article below may contain offensive and/or incorrect content.

Objective: The purpose of this study was to develop and validate an implicit measure of attitudes about the competence of people who are blind, to be used with employers, and to report on these implicit attitudes with a national sample of employers. Method: A sample of 343 employers (i.e., business professionals responsible for making hiring decisions) participated in an online survey that involved answering questions and completing formal instruments, including explicit and implicit attitude measures about blind employees and a knowledge measure about how blind people can perform typical work tasks. The implicit measure was an Implicit Association Test-Blind/Visually Impaired (the IAT-BVI) that was developed for this study. Results: Employers have strong negative implicit attitudes about the competence of people who are blind, with results indicating a very large IAT effect. These implicit attitudes were not associated with personal characteristics, exposure to people who are blind, or explicit attitudes. Implicit attitudes were significantly associated with knowledge about how blind people perform work tasks and, for employers who had hired a blind person, performance ratings of those employees. Conclusions: Employers' implicit attitudes about the competence of blind people were mostly unrelated to other measures, as expected, with the exception of knowledge and performance ratings of blind employees. These findings provide support for the validity of the IAT-BVI, and indicate the importance of rehabilitation professionals working with employers to provide education about how blind people perform work tasks as a potential avenue to improve employment opportunities for people who are blind. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved)