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Examining the Air Travel Experiences of Individuals with Vision Disabilities Using a Co-cultural Theoretical Lens

Description

Traveling is one of the most enriching and fulfilling activities for most people. Yet factors such as crowded airports, long waiting queues, and inaccessible features of airports and airplanes often

Traveling is one of the most enriching and fulfilling activities for most people. Yet factors such as crowded airports, long waiting queues, and inaccessible features of airports and airplanes often make traveling stressful for many individuals including those with disabilities. This qualitative phenomenological research study examined the underexplored area of traveling with a vision disability. Framed around a Co-cultural theoretical perspective, the study examined the lived experiences of vision impaired individuals with regard to receiving disability assistance services during air travel. The study specifically explored the communication strategies that vision impaired individuals employed to manage their assistance-related air travel needs. The study used in-depth interviews for data collection, and a combination of thematic analysis techniques for data analysis. Findings indicated four categories of assistance-related issues that vision impaired participants frequently experienced in their travel: personnel training issues, system issues, policy issues, and physical accessibility issues. The study also identified four Co-cultural communication orientations that participants used in navigating air travel: assertive accommodation, aggressive accommodation, assertive assimilation, and nonassertive assimilation. In addition, the study identified a new Co-cultural communication practice - normalizing for self. Findings of this research conclude that despite three decades since the passage of United States legislation to protect the rights of disabled people, vision impaired travelers still frequently experience inequitable air travel practices. The study offers recommendations on pressing issues concerning policies and regulations that can inform airline executives and federal legislators in facilitating a more equitable and pleasurable air travel experience for those with vision disabilities.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2020

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Communicative experiences of African American female pilots on the flight deck: an application of co-cultural theory and narrative nonfiction to inform crew resource management

Description

ABSTRACT

This study sought to inform the curriculum of crew resource management (CRM) for multi-pilot flight deck operations. The CRM curriculum requires continued reexamination to ensure safe flight in the changing

ABSTRACT

This study sought to inform the curriculum of crew resource management (CRM) for multi-pilot flight deck operations. The CRM curriculum requires continued reexamination to ensure safe flight in the changing demographic of flight decks in the US. The study calls attention to the CRM curriculum’s insufficient inclusion of robust training components to address intercultural communication skills and conflict management strategies.

Utilizing a phenomenological approach, the study examined the communicative experiences of African American female military and airline transport pilots on the flight deck and within the aviation industry. Co-cultural theory was used as a theoretical framework to investigate these co-researcher’s (pilots) experiences. A parallel goal of the investigation was to better understand raced and gendered communication as they occur in this specific context—the flight deck of US airlines and military aircraft.

The researcher conducted in-depth semi-structured interviews and shadowed two co-researchers (pilots) for a period of days and built a relationship with them over the course of one year. Eight years of preparation working in the airline industry situated the researcher for this study. The researcher collected stories and interviews during this time immersed in industry. The data collected offers initial insights into the experiences of non-dominant group members in this unique organizational environment.

The study’s findings are reported in the form of a creative
arrative nonfiction essay. This effort was twofold: (1) the narrative served to generate a record of experiences for continued examination and future research and (2) created useful data and information sets accessible to expert and non-expert audiences alike.

The data supports rationalization as a co-cultural communication strategy, a recent expansion of the theory. Data also suggests that another strategy—strategic alliance building—may be useful in expanding the scope of co-cultural theory. The proposed assertive assimilation orientation identifies the intentional construct of alliances and warrants further investigation.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2015