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Title: Enabling technology in the workplace : exploring the dis/ability assemblage
Author: Gauci, Maria Victoria
ISNI:       0000 0004 7660 7650
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2018
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This research explores Maltese disabled people's engagement with 'enabling technology' in the field of employment. Disabled people's right to work on an equal basis with others and to have access to relevant technologies to support them in this regard, is enshrined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, a convention that Malta has signed and ratified. Accordingly, the study adopts a rights-based approach and is concerned with equity in disabled people's exercise of their rights. The study's starting point is a social model, UNCRPD-inspired approach, considering how barriers in the social environment hinder the participation of disabled people in the workplace. The research then builds upon this more traditional approach, to develop a mode of analysis informed by new materialist perspectives. In particular, the research deploys the concept of the 'network' and the 'assemblage' to analyse technologies that support Maltese disabled employees to engage in activities at the workplace, as components of complex 'entanglements' of human and non-human entities. At the heart of the research is a qualitative empirical study informed by the aspirations of emancipatory research and new materialism. The 25 participants in this study had physical or sensory impairments. The research began with three focus groups, followed by 25 one-to-one interviews. Seven of the participants then consented to be observed whilst at work. The focus during the observations was on 'events', particular episodes of enactment of dis/ability within the workplace. The research findings point to the persistence of multiple barriers and to 'dis/ability' as a shifting, relational concept, which is as material as it is social. A more sophisticated analysis of the relations within assemblages and networks that disabled people form part of at the workplace is thus called for. Stakeholders in the field are urged by the research findings to shape their policies and practices around the 'good' capacities that are produced within these relations, thus affecting new possibilities and 'becomings' for disabled people-technology-work assemblages.
Supervisor: Beckett, Angharad E. ; Priestley, Mark Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available