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WORK: A Journal of Prevention, Assessment & Rehabilitation is an interdisciplinary, international journal which publishes high quality peer-reviewed manuscripts covering the entire scope of the occupation of work. The journal's subtitle has been deliberately laid out: The first goal is the prevention of illness, injury, and disability. When this goal is not achievable, the attention focuses on assessment to design client-centered intervention, rehabilitation, treatment, or controls that use scientific evidence to support best practice.
WORK occasionally publishes thematic issues, but in general, issues cover a wide range of topics such as ergonomic considerations with children, youth and students, the challenges facing an aging workforce, workplace violence, injury management, performing artists, ergonomic product evaluations, and the awareness of the political, cultural, and environmental determinants of health related to work.
Dr. Karen Jacobs, the founding editor, and her editorial board especially encourage the publication of research studies, clinical practice, case study reports, as well as personal narratives and critical reflections of lived work experiences (autoethnographic/autobiographic scholarship),
Sounding Board commentaries and
Speaking of Research articles which provide the foundation for better understanding research to facilitate knowledge dissemination.
Narrative Reflections on Occupational Transitions, a new column, is for persons who have successfully transitioned into, between, or out of occupations to tell their stories in a narrative form. With an internationally renowned editorial board,
WORK maintains high standards in the evaluation and publication of manuscripts. All manuscripts are reviewed expeditiously and published in a timely manner.
WORK prides itself on being an author-friendly journal.
WORK celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2015.
*WORK is affiliated with the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT)* *WORK is endorsed by the International Ergonomics Association (IEA)* *WORK gives out the yearly Cheryl Bennett Best Paper Award*
Abstract: When children with disabilities imagine joining the adult world of work, the joys of choosing a future career path are marred by the high unemployment rates. As I maneuvered through the world of work as a young adult, my optimism remained slightly dampened by an acute awareness that 70% of blind Americans are unemployed. In my experience, the ultimate strategy for success in securing meaningful employment involved a combination of an honest assessment of one's skills…and limits, and stubbornly searching for that niche position.
Abstract: Michael Schwartz, a lawyer deaf since birth, describes his journey as a professional for the last 32 years since his graduation from NYU School of Law in 1981. He offers a case study of his experiences with accommodations on the job as required by federal and state law. The study includes specific examples of what worked and what did not work for a deaf lawyer like him working at his craft. Schwartz wraps up with the lessons he learned over the last three decades as we moved from the model of non-compliance to that of compliance, even beyond compliance, with…the mandates of law in the employment context.
Keywords: Accessibility, accommodations, American Sign Language (ASL), appropriate auxiliary aids, civil rights law, computer-aided real-time transcription or communication access realtime translation (CART), disability rights law, essential functions of the job, interactive dialogue, sign language interpreters, technology, workplace life lessons
Abstract: BACKGROUND: After defining accessibility and usability, the author offers a broad survey of the research studies on digital content databases which have thus far primarily depended on data drawn from studies conducted by sighted researchers with non-disabled users employing screen readers and low vision devices. OBJECTIVE: This article aims at producing a detailed description of the difficulties confronted by blind screen reader users with online library databases which now hold most of the academic,…peer-reviewed journal and periodical content essential for research and teaching in higher education. METHODS: The approach taken here is borrowed from descriptive ethnography which allows the author to create a complete picture of the accessibility and usability problems faced by an experienced academic user of digital library databases and screen readers. RESULTS: The author provides a detailed analysis of the different aspects of accessibility issues in digital databases under several headers with a special focus on full-text PDF files. CONCLUSIONS: The author emphasizes that long-term studies with actual, blind screen reader users employing both qualitative and computerized research tools can yield meaningful data for the designers and developers to improve these databases to a level that they begin to provide an equal access to the blind.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: People with mental illness often experience major difficulties in finding and maintaining sustainable employment. African Americans with mental illness have additional challenges to secure a job, as reflected in their significantly lower employment rates compared to Whites. OBJECTIVE: To examine the factors that contribute to racial disparities in employment outcomes for African-American and White Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) consumers with mental illness. METHODS: This study used VR data from a Midwestern state that included 2,122 African American…and 4,284 White participants who reported mental illness in their VR records. Logistic regression analyses were conducted. RESULTS: African Americans had significantly more closures after referral and were closed as non-rehabilitated more often than Whites. Logistic regressions indicated that African Americans are less likely to be employed compared to Whites. The regression also found differences by gender (females more likely to find jobs than males) and age (middle age consumers [36 to 50] were more likely to find jobs than younger consumers [18 to 35]). Case expenditures between $1,000 and $4,999 were significantly lower for African Americans. CONCLUSIONS: VR agencies need to remain vigilant of potential discrepancies in service delivery among consumers from various ethnic groups and work hard to assure as much equality as possible.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: India, a signatory to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), has 2.21% of people with disabilities to the total population of which 26% are employed (Census 2011 and 2001). Accessibility was introduced for the first time in 1995 under The Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act. Article 9 of UNCRPD promotes barrier-free environment on an equal basis with others. Despite the legislation and…the UN convention, structural barriers continue to be one of the largest barriers posing concern for PwDs at their workplace. OBJECTIVE: To identify various physicall barriers limiting accessibility of PWDs in the formal sector in Delhi. METHOD: Quantitative descriptive research design. Random sample was drawn. RESULT: Structural barriers create difficulty in accessing basic amenities such as canteens, toilets etc. CONCLUSION: Disability is a human rights issue. An employee with disability is entitled to dignified life. Effective implementation of Article 9 and 27 of UNCRPD will pave a way for removing structural barriers at workplace.
Keywords: Person with disabilities (PwDs), accessibility, reasonable accommodations, United Nations Convention on the Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), structural barriers
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Few studies of employed people who use wheelchairs, canes, crutches or walkers have been reported in the literature. One reason for this paucity of research reports is that surveys are most often made of unemployed individuals with disabilities a defined broadly. Understanding the work site of successfully employed people who use mobility devices requires the development of as survey that can be used to examine the important features of worksite from employees who use mobility…devices at their worksites. OBJECTIVE: This article describes the development and psychometrics of a survey on currently employed people with lower limb impairments and mobility limitations who use mobility devices. The items in the Mobility Device User Work Survey (MWS) were based on interviews and survey items pilot tested on employed mobility device users. PARTICIPANTS: A sample of 183 employed people who use mobility devices including wheelchairs, canes, crutches or walkers was recruited using internet postings on disability-related organizations. The average age of the sample was 46.3, most were college educated, 72% used wheelchairs and the average number of years of employment was 24. METHODS: The MWS was completed by 183 people who met the inclusion criteria. The survey was sent to these same people a second time and 132 of them returned the second survey. RESULTS: The MWS consists of 106 questions on demographic, work and worksite characteristics and 58 subjective evaluation items that were organized into five scales. The internal consistencies (Cronbach's alpha) of the five scales were moderate (0.72) to good (0.93). Stability values of the five scales were calculated using correlations between forms and ranged from 0.70 to 0.80. The evaluative scales were analyzed using exploratory factor analysis. CONCLUSIONS: The MWS provides a tool for studying the variables that influence employed people who use mobility devices. Future studies of unemployed people who use mobility devices may benefit from using the results of the MWS to plan interventions.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Nearly 25% of people with mobility impairments and limitations who are of working age are employed, yet few studies have examined their perspectives on their jobs or work environments required to complete job tasks. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to describe the factors that contribute to successful employment for those who use mobility devices. PARTICIPANTS: A convenience sample of 132 workers who use power wheelchairs, manual wheelchairs, canes, crutches…or walkers. METHOD: Participants completed an online version of the Mobility Device User Work Survey (MWS). A multivariate analysis and a two-step multiple linear regression analysis were used. RESULTS: Study participants had few secondary health conditions that influenced their work. Employee satisfactoriness to their employers was high. Accessibility of worksites was high. Assistive technologies were inexpensive, and personal assistance was used infrequently and usually was unpaid. Co-worker communications were very positive. Flexible work rules and supportive managers were highly valued. Job satisfaction positively correlated with accessibility, work tasks, co-worker communication and work support. CONCLUSION: The description of work environments of successfully employed mobility device users can provide some useful guidance to employers, vocational rehabilitation (VR) counselors and unemployed mobility device users to balance employee abilities and preferences with the needs of employers.
Keywords: Successful employment, mobility device users, theory of work adjustment
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Less than 40% of people with disabilities work. Many studies have detailed the barriers to employment but few have examined the work experiences of those who are employed. OBJECTIVE: A description of work conditions valued by a specific segment of employed people with disabilities is provided. METHODS: Videotaped interviews of 33 successfully employed people with mobility impairments and limitations (PWMIL) were transcribed and analyzed to gather their perspectives on their work…social and physical environments. RESULTS: Finding work was facilitated by family, friends and other social networks, vocational services, and prior education. Doing volunteer work, spending time at a paid and unpaid internship, and part-time work experiences were important aspects of job acquisition. Exterior and interior physical features were or had been made accessible. Expensive assistive technologies were paid for by the employee and their health insurance. Almost all personal assistance was provided by family, friends and co-workers. Work satisfaction included having a supportive employer, supportive co-workers, and flexible worksite policies. CONCLUSION: The interviews of employed PWMIL provide prospective employers and employees information on important social and physical work features that are needed to improve the possibilities for hiring people with disabilities and facilitating their successful careers.
Abstract: This study considers the employment of persons with traumatic brain injury (TBI) from a disability-rights perspective. This approach calls for a shift from a focus on one's (in)capacity towards one's capability, incorporating both factors of impairment and of appropriate accommodation and supports to create inclusion. To give a voice to persons with TBI, the discussion is based on interviews with Tracey (pseudonym), a woman who incurred the injury at a young age and carried its implications…as she entered the workforce. It illustrates the discrimination and prejudice encountered by such individuals in procuring employment and gaining acceptance in workplaces and the accommodation-related challenges. The case study discusses the complexities involved as a way for developing a better understanding what must be considered, from a disability-rights perspective, regarding employment and workplace of persons with TBI. The 2006 Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) provides a legal reference for the discussion.
Keywords: Traumatic brain injury, prejudice and discrimination, accommodation, vocational rehabilitation, Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities