They exist but they don't exist’: personal assistants supporting physically disabled people in the workplace

MADDISON, Jane, BROOKS, Jenni, GRAHAM, Katherine and BIRKS, Yvonne (2022). They exist but they don't exist’: personal assistants supporting physically disabled people in the workplace. Work, Employment and Society.

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    Employment rates in England for disabled people are persistently lower than for non-disabled people. Support from a Workplace Personal Assistant is one way of narrowing this gap. Personal assistance is an empowerment-driven model in which the disabled person controls their support: who provides it, when, how and where. Previous research has focused on the personal assistant role in the home setting. This article draws on data from 32 qualitative interviews in the first UK study to explore personal assistance in the workplace for people with physical and/or sensory impairments. To maintain their enabling role in this external setting, Workplace Personal Assistants needed to strive for occupational invisibility when among the disabled workers’ colleagues: to ‘exist but not exist’. This article examines the Workplace Personal Assistant role as invisible work, applying Hatton’s conceptual framework. The analysis contributes to understanding of workplace personal assistance and ways in which mechanisms can intersect to produce multiple invisibility.

    Item Type: Article
    Uncontrolled Keywords: 1402 Applied Economics; 1503 Business and Management; 1608 Sociology; Industrial Relations
    Identification Number:
    SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
    Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
    Date Deposited: 07 Jan 2022 17:24
    Last Modified: 21 Jun 2022 08:53

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