Technologies for inclusive employment; from technical prostheses to the transformation of work

Mike Grijseels, Athena Institute, VU University, Amsterdam; Teun Zuiderent-Jerak, Athena Institute, VU Amsterdam; Barbara Regeer

virPrague 20: Medicine, Health, Disability Studies

How can new human / non-human configurations contribute to the transformation of employment? To explore this question, 7 pilots for innovative technologies try to produce inclusion of people with disabilities. Pilots range from real time speech-to-text transcription technology for deaf employees to an electronic and data-sensed hedge trimmer for people with mental disabilities. To increase the chance of these technologies contributing towards increased inclusion, our ‘learning evaluation’ reflects the non-linear and complex ways in which technology is introduced and produces new inclusions as well as exclusions. The possibility of technology producing and reproducing the exclusions they are trying to address, has been a topic of debate. To combat these possible exclusions we combine participatory, transdisciplinary methods with a sensitivity for the complexity and non-linearity involved in mobilizing technology for inclusion of people with disabilities. In this way we aim at helping the pilots ‘’do’’ inclusive technology.

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