An inclusive workplace accommodation evaluation for employees with disabilities

Kutlu, Özdal
The status of the people with disabilities can be summarized as marginalisation and exclusion from the mainstream of the society. It is accepted that the process of exclusion of people with disabilities is grounded in time and history. Demographic, economic, legislative data, humanistic reasons and historical evaluation of disability indicate that employment is the most vital item for the participation of people with disabilities in social life. The status of people with disabilities related with employment can be summarized with the terms; unemployment or underemployment, discrimination, lack of satisfaction and advancement in work, loss of job and time pressure at work etc. Intensified competition and flexibility in labour market, lack of physical access, lack of information in an accessible format about job, inadequate training, incompetent personal qualifications and work experience, insufficient benefit and support of welfare systems, employers’ unwillingness to hire people with disabilities and to make adaptations, type and severity of disability, relatively low educational level of people with disabilities etc can be indicated as reasons for unemployment or underemployment of people with disabilities. Beside these, problems of employment have a close connection to the problems of workplace accommodations. Varieties of barriers in built and workplace environment increase the exclusion of persons with disabilities in the social employment environment. Space as an instrument for reproducing and sustaining social practices must not be perceived only with technical specifications. Space becomes the means of social mechanisms while keeping people with disabilities either ‘in’ or ‘out’ of the society. In other words, workplaces play an important role while maintaining either spatial isolation / marginalisation or inclusion of people with disabilities in the labour market. Although many people with disabilities share a common experience in relation to the labour market people with disabilities are very heterogeneous. Their experiences of employment are variable and exhibit a wide range of different skills, aptitudes and aspirations as with the remainder of the population. An inclusive society deserves an inclusive workplace accommodation which has been vital not only for people with disabilities but also for “all people’’. An investigation on Universal Design Principles will provide a background in the evaluation of the thesis. “Universal design” that is also known as “inclusive design” and “design for all”, has become a widely accepted design approach which considers to make the built environment, products, and communications equally accessible, usable and understandable for everyone. The study aims to emphasize the significance of the consciousness that is acquired by exposing different aspects of workplace accommodation for the built environment and design process, and evaluate workplace accommodation in frame of the universal design.
Citation Formats
Ö. Kutlu, “An inclusive workplace accommodation evaluation for employees with disabilities,” M.Arch. - Master of Architecture, Middle East Technical University, 2007.