Teleworking and the "disability divide"

John C. Bricout, Paul M.A. Baker, Andrew C. Ward, Nathan W. Moon

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Much of the discourse on the digital divide focuses on issues of information disparity and accessibility, frequently in socioeconomic terms. This perspective overlooks an important aspect of the digital divide, the lack of access and missed opportunities faced by persons with disabilities, referred to here as the "disability divide." Barriers to access and knowledgeable use of information and communication technology (ICT) represent more than simple exclusion from information to encompass social segregation and devaluation. At its most insidious, barriers to ICTs limit full community engagement in employment activities. This chapter examines the ramification of the impact of digital divide on the nature of employment and participation in the workplace, using ICT to conduct telework, and explores challenges to social policy with respect to 'reasonable' accommodations. In the absence of practices, structures, and policies targeting the distributive work environment, telework is much less likely to close the digital divide for persons with a disability. This suggests the need to explore and develop potential policy options to close the disability divide.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHandbook of Research on Overcoming Digital Divides
Subtitle of host publicationConstructing an Equitable and Competitive Information Society
PublisherIGI Global
Pages155-178
Number of pages24
ISBN (Print)9781605666990
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2009

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