Dr. Nicola Shaw Awarded Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Grant

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Algoma University prof’s research examines digital assistive technology to support remote working by the disabled

(SAULT STE. MARIE, ON- February 10, 2021): Dr. Nicola Shaw, Professor in the Department of Sociology at Algoma University, has recently been awarded a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Knowledge Synthesis – Skills and Work in the Digital Economy grant for her research, titled ‘Digital assistive technologies to support remote working by the disabled: A scoping review.’

Dr. Shaw’s work is concerned with digital assistive technologies aimed at improving the ability of disabled individuals to work remotely. Within the disabled community, the opportunity for using digital assistive technologies to enable remote working is widely discussed. Fundamentally, Dr. Shaw’s study aims to improve social inclusion of the disabled within the workforce.

“For years the disabled Canadian workforce has been disenfranchised. Further, employers have all too often considered that accommodating their needs for digital assistive technology would be an undue hardship. However, in March 2020 the world changed and employers sent thousands of employees home to work supported by that very same technology that had previously been considered too much of an imposition,” shared Dr. Shaw. “The ultimate purpose of my project is to level the playing field by providing employers with an easy method of identifying appropriate digital assistive technologies. By doing so, I hope that we will start to see greater equity in hiring.”

In addition to her grant, Dr. Shaw was recently named Algoma University’s Researcher of the Month and she continues to collaborate with others locally, nationally and internationally in a variety of health informatics and health services research projects. Dr. Shaw is also a champion for Algoma University’s new Sociology Minor in Health, Wellness and Addictions commencing this fall.

For more information, please see the SSHRC press release linked here.  All studies listed here.

‘Digital assistive technologies to support remote working by the disabled: A scoping review’ is co-funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and the Government of Canada’s Future Skills program. ‘Technologies d’assistance numériques pour soutenir le travail à distance des personnes handicapées: un examen de la portée’ est cofinancé par le Conseil de recherches en sciences humaines et le programme Compétences futures du Gouvernement du Canada.