Skip to main content

Nada Musleh

Supervisors:

Dr Christine Cross & Dr Sarah Kieran

Working Title of Thesis:

Towards Accessibility for All: New Ways of Working (NWW), an enabling or disabling workplace experience for persons with disabilities (PWD)

Abstract

Organizations of different types and sizes were all making their studied move towards New Ways of Working (NWW) for different drivers and reasons.  Nevertheless, the Corona virus (COVID -19) pandemic has forced all organizations to rapidly embrace one or other element of the NWW and has made the NWW the organization’s “new normal”.  This study aims to identify the enabling and disabling workplace experience for People with Disabilities (PWDs) and how it affects their physical, psychological, intellectual, and well-being state, leading to the question: “What is the effect of Introducing NWW in IT Organizations on PWD in Europe”.   The study will focus on NWW with all its dimensions and related arrangements, while most of published studies only focused on teleworking.  This study will also focus on PWDs within organizations who are considered a neglected group despite the increasing inclusion acts and reforms. It will not be limited to explore the enabling/disabling factors but will also propose solutions and offer guidelines for future design, arrangements, and policy making. The study will follow the descriptive analysis design, empirical data will be gathered using a mixed method design, consisting of shadowed observation to collect qualitative data and assist in the design of the information gathering tool (the questionnaire), then distribution of a quantitative comprehensive survey that will target PWDs in selected IT companies in the EU followed by a qualitative focus groups to articulate on aspects that are still ambiguous.  The findings of the empirical data will be then represented to line managers, senior management, IT senior managers for each organization to discuss policies, work arrangements and recommendations and the final approved upon suggestions and recommendations would be discussed in a workshop that will include line managers, senior managers, IT experts and architects and business consultants to conceptualize a universal design that promotes accessibility for all, and offer practical guidelines for future design, arrangements, and policy making.  The expected contribution of the study has twofold: 1. Identifies enabling/disabling factors of NWW to PWD 2. offers a concept and solution on how to design, arrange and make policies that are enabling to PWDs within the business workplace.  The study would also offer solutions to decision and policy makers on how to shift to NWW that is inclusive and attentive to PWDs needs and raise awareness of organizations to take steps to minimize any potential negative impact of NWW on PWD and capitalize on the positive ones