Article Details

Research Database: Article Details

Citation:  Morgan, K.A., Gotlieb, M., Hollingsworth, H.H. & Gray, D. B. (2014). Work environments of people with mobility impairments and limitations: Mobility Device User Work Survey (MWS). Work, 48 339-348.
Title:  Work environments of people with mobility impairments and limitations: Mobility Device User Work Survey (MWS)
Authors:  Morgan, K.A., Gotlieb, M., Hollingsworth, H.H. & Gray, D. B.
Year:  2014
Journal/Publication:  Work
Publisher:  IOS Press
Full text:   
Peer-reviewed?  Yes
NIDILRR-funded?  Yes

Structured abstract:

Background:  People with mobility impairments, like Spinal Cord Injury, face high rates of unemployment. Most of the research focuses on people with disabilities as a homogenous group. Research about individuals who use wheelchairs and other mobility devices is needed. Furthermore, studies should examine the work environment of those who are employed. This should provide useful information that can be used to improve the work outcomes for this group.
Purpose:  This article described the development of a tool, the Mobility Device User Work Survey. The survey was developed to learn more about the work environment of employees with mobility impairments and limitations.
Setting:  The online survey was completed by individuals with disabilities in various settings.
Study sample:  Participants involved in survey development included 183 individuals who used some type of mobility device (i.e. wheelchair, cane, walker etc...); and were currently employed. The final sample included 132 individuals from this group. The majority or 72% used a wheelchair. The average age was 46.3 years and the majority had attended college. Most of the participants were white and a little more than half of the sample were females N=70.
Intervention:  There was no intervention.
Control or comparison condition:  There was no control or comparison condition.
Data collection and analysis:  The survey was designed based on interviews with people who used mobility devices and a review of existing tools. Next it was pilot tested and administered twice for the calculation of psychometric properties. Participants were recruited using multiple approaches and asked to complete an online survey that screened them for inclusion. Those who met the inclusionary criteria were sent and information to log in to the employee survey. Individuals who completed it were asked to take it again 4 to 6 weeks after the first time. Out of 183 people who completed the survey the first time, 132 completed it the second time. The final survey had two parts. The first collected information about demographics and work. The second included 5 evaluative work scales. The scales included: coworker communication, worksite support, work task evaluation, work concern and work satisfaction. The questions were programmed into a web-based format using software that reduces chances of errors. Participants were asked to complete the survey on line. The data were analyzed using descriptive statistics. Other data analysis included item statistics and factor analysis.
Findings:  Results were obtained from final survey results from 132 employed people who used mobility devices. These are the individuals who had completed the same survey two times. The content validity of the evaluative work items was supported. The internal consistency and stability of the work evaluation scales indicated that the survey had acceptable psychometric properties.
Conclusions:  The MSW is a valid and reliable survey. Additional research is needed to understand the implications about how this tool might help improve employment outcomes for jobseekers and employees who use mobility devices.

Disabilities served:  Cerebral palsy
Mobility impairment
Muscular dystrophy
Spinal cord injury (SCI)
Populations served:  Gender: Female and Male
Race: Black / African American
Race: White / Caucasian
Ethnicity: Hispanic or Latino
Ethnicity: Not Hispanic or Latino