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Advancing the Concepts & Practices of Information Resources Management in Modern Organizations

Teleworking and the "Disability Divide"

Teleworking and the "Disability Divide"
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Author(s): John C. Bricout (The University of Texas at Arlington, USA), Paul M.A. Baker (Georgia Institute of Technology, USA), Andrew C. Ward (University of Minnesota, USA) and Nathan W. Moon (Georgia Institute of Technology, USA)
Copyright: 2010
Pages: 24
Source title: Handbook of Research on Overcoming Digital Divides: Constructing an Equitable and Competitive Information Society
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Enrico Ferro (Istituto Superiore Mario Boella (ISMB), Italy), Yogesh K. Dwivedi (Swansea University, UK), J. Ramon Gil-Garcia (Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas (CIDE), Mexico) and Michael D. Williams (Swansea University, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-699-0.ch009

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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.

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