Perceptions of People with Disabilities: When is Accommodation Fair? Academic Article uri icon


  • We experimentally examined fairness perceptions of accommodating people with disabilities by manipulating the granting of an accommodation, reward structure, and the best performer on a word search task. Data from 134 undergraduate students indicated that granting an accommodation was seen as less fair than not granting it, that having a person with a disability excel in performance was seen as less fair than when the person did not excel, and that fairness perceptions were lowest when the person with a disability received an accommodation and excelled in performance. Although the intent of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is to level the playing field for people with disabilities, our results show that when an accommodation helps the requester, others think it is unfair.

published proceedings

  • Basic and Applied Social Psychology

altmetric score

  • 10

author list (cited authors)

  • Paetzold, R. L., Garca, M. F., Colella, A., Ren, L. R., Triana, M., & Ziebro, M.

citation count

  • 40

complete list of authors

  • Paetzold, Ramona L||García, María Fernanda||Colella, Adrienne||Ren, Lily Run||Triana, María del Carmen||Ziebro, Monique

publication date

  • February 2008