Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Communication, Technology, and Society
Dr. Kristen Okamoto
Dr. Andrew Pyle
Dr. Jordan Morehouse
Only 19.1% of people with disabilities are currently employed (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2022b). Stigma associated with disability often forces people with disabilities to have limited options in terms of employment. This has caused organizations like Bitty & Beaus Coffee and The Prospector Theater to make it their mission to hire people with disabilities. To better understand how these organizations are communicating about disability online a thematic analysis of the Instagram pages of Bitty & Beaus Coffee and The Prospector Theater was conducted. The findings suggest that these organizations use the image and likeness of the employees with disabilities to garner positive reactions from their audience, while not providing many opportunities for these employees to discuss their own disability or employment. Most importantly, the findings built off Peterson & McNamee’s (2017) involuntary membership framework to introduce the potential for an added subsection entitled, (in)voluntary advocacy. This subsection posits that individuals may be put in circumstances to have to advocate for causes as part of their membership in an organization.
Brazeau, Michelle, "When advocacy becomes (in)voluntary: A thematic analysis of disability focused organizations" (2022). All Theses. 3920.