Kelly Bleach, Ph.D. is a 2022 graduate of the PHD Program in Leadership and Change at Antioch University.
Kelly Bleach at her Dissertation Defense.
From L-R: Dr. Mitch Kusy, Committee Chair, Dr. Bonnie O'Day, Committee Member, Dr. Harriet Schwartz, Committee Member.
- Mitch Kusy Ph.D., Committee Chair
- Harriet Schwartz, Ph.D., Committee Member
- Bonnie O'Day, Ph.D., Committee Member
Leadership, grounded theory, blindness, low vision, disability, computer-mediated communication, employment, workplace inclusion
Companies have increasingly turned to text-based communications to recruit, hire, and manage a distributed remote workforce. For people who are blind or visually impaired, this movement presents both challenges and opportunities for attaining and retaining employment. Does the potential isolation of telework have a negative effect on workplace relationships for people who are blind or visually impaired? Does participation in text-based workspaces mitigate stereotypes and stigmatization experienced by people with visible disabilities? Using a constructivist grounded theory framework, this study explored how people who are blind or visually impaired experience relationships in text-based workspaces. Building and maintaining social connections and networks is critical for employment success, so understanding the factors at play in text-based workplace communications is key. Interviews with 18 blind or visually impaired professionals revealed a number of ways individuals connected with colleagues, cultivated professional identity, and built extended networks. This happened despite challenges from technologies and organizational processes that failed to account for employees who are visually impaired. This investigation resulted in the development of an emergent theory and a model that can advance policies and practices for employers and for employment training and support programs. This dissertation is available in open access at AURA (https://aura.antioch.edu/) and OhioLINK ETD Center (https://etd.ohiolink.edu/).
Bleach, K. (2022). Click-Enter-Send: The Relationship Experiences of People Who are Blind or Visually Impaired in Text-Based Workspaces. https://aura.antioch.edu/etds/894
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