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Exploring Clothing as a Barrier to Workplace Participation Faced by People Living with Disabilities

Department of Textile and Apparel Management, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211, USA
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Societies 2018, 8(1), 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc8010019
Received: 9 February 2018 / Revised: 9 March 2018 / Accepted: 13 March 2018 / Published: 15 March 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social Participation and Human Rights)
In response to research which argues that people living with a disability (PLWD) face societal barriers including workplace participation, this study explored how the barriers to social participation, specifically workplace participation, faced by PLWD are exacerbated by the lack of appropriate clothing and the role that stigma, self-efficacy, and clothing have in workplace participation. Finding appropriate clothing is a significant barrier to social participation for many PLWD. The social model of disability used in this study supports this by suggesting that it is society which places barriers to PLWD rather than their disability. A qualitative inquiry of semi-structured, in-depth interviews was used, and the results showcase six sub-themes of barriers: work defines me, disability as the barrier to workplace participation, work allows extra societal opportunities, stigma questions my self-efficacy, workplace accommodations diminish my stigma, and clothing builds my self-efficacy. The study found that, for PLWD, workplace participation is hindered because of occupational typecasting and lack of appropriate clothing, which increases their stigma and decreases their self-efficacy. The contributions of this study include theory support, policy, community, and educational enhancement. View Full-Text
Keywords: stigma; self-efficacy; clothing; disability; social participation; workplace participation; social model of disability stigma; self-efficacy; clothing; disability; social participation; workplace participation; social model of disability
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McBee-Black, K.; Ha-Brookshire, J. Exploring Clothing as a Barrier to Workplace Participation Faced by People Living with Disabilities. Societies 2018, 8, 19.

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