This chapter outlines an emergent theory of disability work as a plurality of forms of social-symbolic work undertaken or facilitated by disabled workers in a variety of workplaces. Building primarily on twelve distinct but interconnected types of work elaborated in Part D, we render visible the everyday efforts many disabled workers (choose to) expend at work, which remain hidden in plain sight. We also theorize disabled workers as social-symbolic subjects, who aim to (re)constitute organizational life in ways that call out (dis)ableism and call in allyship. Our framework also shows how disabled workers resist constructions of disabilities of social-symbolic objects by problematizing discursive, relational and material patterns in order to spearhead or sustain system-change (Part E). Our framework advances the social-symbolic lens, gives overdue visibility to members of the largest minority in today’s workplaces, and specifies how their everyday efforts help make the future of work more inclusive.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRoutledge Companion to Disability and Work
EditorsOana Branzei, Anica Zeyen
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 30 Jun 2024


  • disability work
  • disability

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