Estranged but not strangers: Challenging organisational norms of access for people with disability and people from a NESB

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Cosmopolitan Civil Societies, 2018, 10 (2), pp. 13 - 32
Issue Date:
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© 2018 Vicki Bamford. This research investigates the reasons why clients are estranged from their organisation when they expect to be the focus of communication attention. It investigates an organisations’ ability to establish the conditions necessary for inclusion of the organisation’s publics who identify with disability and who come from a non-English speaking background (NESB) to understand why estrangement occurs. An analysis of communication between the organisation and their clients aims to isolate inclusive processes by understanding power relations that facilitate voice and listening. This is achieved through a case study of a service organisation that is obliged to engage with its publics and has a strategy to do so. Data were gathered from the organisation’s documentation and interviews with instigators of policies and processes. Feedback from the organisation’s clients was collected focusing on their experience of being engaged and included given norms of inclusion may not be shared. A thematic analysis was undertaken of the data to isolate themes on inclusion. The themes revealed: a culture of inclusion; a policy that encouraged an exchange, and processes established by professionals with expertise to design and promote inclusion beyond their usual publics.
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