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Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)


Intercultural Relations

First Advisor

Larry Kirkhart

First Committee Member

Steven Dowd

Second Committee Member

Kent Warren


The purpose of this research study was to foster improved intercultural communication and understanding in the studied organizations and to foster diversity related discussion in the Oregon developmental disabilities services industry. Research was conducted by collecting data from 16 human resource managers who work in human services organizations serving people with developmental disabilities. Through the use of an email survey and follow-up telephone interviews with a subgroup ofthe 16 participants, data were gathered regarding participant perspectives on their organizations' diversity initiatives and on their suggestions for effective diversity strategies. Specific areas of focus included: the benefits and barriers to workplace diversity and strategies to foster workplace diversity. The research produced a comprehensive set of strategies that focused on the following six areas: leadership commitment to diversity; organizational commitment to diversity; organizational commitment to diversity training; the modification of human resources practices to accommodate diverse cultural needs; the consideration of alternative service configurations and job descriptions to accommodate different cultural needs; and the development of a comprehensive community outreach program.



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