Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work

First Advisor

Sharon Patten

Second Advisor

Lois Bosch

Third Advisor

Bob Munson


The future of community placement and involvement for adults with developmental disabilities has lacked empirical data. Few studies have examined the views of businesses towards customers with developmental disabilities. For this thesis, the concept of survey research was used to analyze the responses of one manager or employee from 9 community businesses to a survey based on a 2000 Business Attitudes Towards People With Intellectual Disabilities Questionnaire developed by the author of the thesis. Forced-choice and open-ended questions were compared to analyze common themes and attitudes. Overall, businesses were accepting of persons with developmental disabilities, and had few concerns about these customers. The businesses utilized by group home residents with severe/profound disabilities reported more difficulties with these customers than the businesses utilized by residents with mild/moderate disabilities. The results suggest that people with developmental disabilities are generally viewed favorably by businesses. There appears to be a need for increased social roles, such as being a valued consumer, for individuals with disabilities.


SC 11.MSW.2001.Olson.RK

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Social Work Commons