Future of Work

Mixed Ability Workspaces

Building Research Capacity by Technological Interventions in Support of Mixed-Ability Workplaces by the support of Conceptual Metaphor Theory

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People with cognitive disabilities encounter significant challenges in mixed ability workspaces. Through exploratory research with a library in Italy, we evaluated the complexities of these work settings, came up with findings and translated them into design ideas that would help support mixed-ability workspaces and make them more effective in collaboration. Our goal is to improve the experiences in these work settings by making them more accessible, user-friendly, and interactive.

Our Research

Mixed ability workspaces are integrated spaces where people with and without disabilities work and collaborate every day. Due to government regulations in some countries, these spaces are becoming more common. In these spaces, people with cognitive disabilities experience difficulties like lower employment and pay, getting hired part time, working in lower wage areas, negative attitudes of co-workers, etc.

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We explored the mixed-ability workplaces for people with cognitive disabilities via the lens of CMT. We five researchers observed five participants (a neurotypical team leader, and four workers with cognitive disabilities) in their workspace, used contextual inquiry and interviews to collect data on how they describe and perceive their work. We then coded the data based on the embodied schemata. We demonstrate the application of Conceptual Metaphor Theory (CMT) to a new context: Mixed ability workspace. The contribution of this study is as follows: 

Project Goals

Our long-term goal is to bring forth transformative technologies that help boost and support mixed ability workspaces. Digging a little deeper, we would like to conduct integrative research in different topics such as- Human-Computer Interaction, Accessibility, Sociology, Philanthropy, and Social Work etc to chart the landscape of mixed-ability work and design novel technological interventions that support mixed-ability work practices. We would like to contribute to the vast socio-technical systems that adapt to the people by fitting their mental.

Partner with Us

We are currently seeking additional insight from potential partners, so if you’re interested in collaborating please contact us!

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535 W. Michigan Street, IT 475, Indianapolis, IN