Disruption, disbelief and resistance: A meta-synthesis of disability in the workplace
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This article presents the findings from a meta-synthesis of qualitative research on the experiences of persons with disabilities in the workplace. The purpose of this review was to explore how organizational culture influences the experiences of people with disabilities in the workplace, and the impact of disability on organizational culture. Findings from seven qualitative peer-reviewed studies on the experiences of people with disabilities at work and organizational culture published between 1995 and 2006 were synthesized using the meta-ethnography approach. The findings highlight how experiences of people with disabilities and organizational culture intersect in the workplace. Specifically, accessibility in the workplace involves more than removing physical barriers. People with disabilities are affected by the degree of acceptance and flexibility in the workplace, and relationships with co-workers and supervisors. However, the presence of disability may be perceived as disruptive to the organization, operation and structure of the workplace, resulting in disbelief and resistance. The findings suggest that attention and resources should be directed supporting the implementation of disability and human rights legislation and increasing tolerance for diversity in the workplace.
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