Assistive Technology and Employment: Experiences of Californians with Disabilities
(2007). Assistive Technology and Employment: Experiences of Californians with Disabilities. Work, 27(4), pp.333-344.
For people with disabilities, work remains the best route to independence and enacting one's own choices. Assistive technology (AT) is often crucial in removing barriers to employment, and in enabling workers with disabilities to work more productively. A participatory action research project known as Community Research for Assistive Technology surveyed people with disabilities using Independent Living Centers throughout California, in part to identify barriers to employment and study use of job-related AT to overcome such barriers. Across disability groups, disability itself was cited as the primary barrier to employment, with potential loss of benefits and lack of education cited as secondary barriers. A majority of working respondents reported using assistive technology (such as adapted telephones, wheelchairs, magnifiers, and adapted computer equipment) or services to perform job functions. The vast majority of those using job-related AT reported substantial benefits to their productivity and self-esteem. Employees' requests for AT as a workplace accommodation were granted more often than not, but many other employees had to pay for their own workplace AT (abstract from first page of article).
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