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Call for Papers - Factors in Studying Employment for Persons with Disability

Submissions deadline - May 1, 2016

Research in Social Science and Disability, Volume 10
Call For Papers
Factors in Studying Employment for Persons with Disability: How the Picture can Change
In the literature about employment among persons with disabilities, research results depend on the purpose of the definitions of work disability, the discipline within which it takes place, the model or paradigm of disability in which it is framed and the cultural context in which the employment occurs (Lederer, Loisel and Rivard, 2014).  From another perspective, the definition and measurement  of the disability itself incorporates different approaches and provides different results to the employment question. For example, the use of a functional limitation measure to identify the group with disability creates a larger population than the use of a measure of participation, be it social or employment related.
This call for papers seeks to address those factors which have made describing, predicting  and examining the work experience of a person with a disability difficult. We encourage authors to examine how work for persons with disabilities has been defined,  conceptualized and measured in practice, in policy decision making, in various industries, and in various social science research disciplines.  We also encourage authors to examine how the various definitions and measurements of disability impact the  estimates of  unemployment.  We would  also consider papers about how conceptualization of work for those with disability evolved over time or how it differs across cultures.
Among social scientists, for example, definitions of work disability have been dominated by the economic perspective, which focuses on legal definitions associated with access to social benefits or on the levels of poverty within this group.  While the economic perspective is an important one, we would encourage authors to look beyond that perspective, for example by examining whether the age, gender, or  race of the person with a disability influences their employment, their level of poverty or their eligibility for benefits.  Another approach could examine if persons with mobility limitations are more likely or less likely to be employed than persons with hearing or vision problems.  An author could examine the impact of education on the person with disability’s employment.  Type of employment such as part time or full time or the impact of the 24 hour shift work cycle can also be factors influencing working.
We would like to broaden the social science perspective  to examine some very important aspects of the work situation that do not get as much attention.  For example:
1.       How does the organizational culture, which includes norms, traditions, values, and beliefs, impact the disabled worker?  Are organizational cultures different across size, type or purpose of the organization?
2.       How does organizational structure influence the work experience of a disabled worker? Does size, type, or purpose of the organization  contribute to the accessibility of the job, discrimination on the job, the ability of the worker to advance, or  the ability to maintain tenure in a  job?
3.       What impacts the social dimension of a person’s work experience when they have a disability? What kinds of relationships with colleagues, supervisors, clients are experienced and how do the types of work environments or social or cultural constraints influence those relationships?
4.       What and where are the physical barriers to the inclusion of persons with disabilities in the work setting?  Are the issues workload, tools, chemicals or other processes, table heights, computer programs, repetitive motion requirements, lifting or carrying,  communication issues, etc?
5.       What are the mental/emotional/behavioral factors that can be barriers to the inclusion of persons with disabilities in the work setting?  What kind of demands are made and what kinds of stress or pressure are created in the workplace related to time, performance or productivity and other factors that would measure a person’s success? What kind of autonomy and control of tasks or schedules are available to the person in the job? What help is available?
6.       How do age, gender, race, education, or type of disability influence employment outcomes. Does it make a difference if one lives in a rural area, or in center city or in the Northeast, South, Central or Western areas of the US or in a developing or undeveloped country.

There are also big picture influences on work disability that are influenced by the sociodemographics of the culture.  For example, an aging society may mean that more jobs—but certain types of jobs-- are available than people to fill them, or there may be  residual effects from a depression or recession.  Finally,  cultural attitudes and norms related to  gender (“women should not be  in the work force”), race,  or the appropriateness of a particular type of work can also subtly influence the employment of persons with a disability.
Submissions are due May 1, 2016. Please send your paper to Barbara Altman ([email protected]) and Sharon Barnartt  ([email protected]) .  Author’s questions should be directed to Barbara Altman ([email protected]).