Changing the Paradigm of Inclusion: How Blind People Could Help People without Disabilities to Acquire New Competences

  • Konstantin V. Barannikov Consulting company LLC "Institute of Management Design and Competitive Strategies", Yekaterinburg, Russia
  • Fayruza S. Ismagilova Ural Federal University, Yekaterinburg, Russia
  • Zijun Li Ural Federal University, Yekaterinburg, Russia
  • Oleg B. Kolpashchikov “White Cane” NPO, Yekaterinburg, Russia


People with disabilities have been increasingly regarded as the most powerful and overlooked workforce in the labor market, although frequently confronted with ineffectiveness in cooperation with colleagues without disabilities. The traditional paradigm of inclusion considers blind people as dependents needing help. Inclusive society is highly aimed at effective interactions between the workforce with and without disabilities. The present article regards people with disabilities as those having diverse potentials which stem from different cultural backgrounds, and behaving differently during intercultural interactions with individuals without disabilities. This article proposes a new disability inclusion paradigm involving successful blind professionals in mentoring activities, to share their experience with top managers and experts in Russian organizations. Through focus groups and in-depth interviews, this article finds specific differences in explicit and implicit interactive behaviors between individuals with and without blindness. Furthermore, the present article highlights the positive effect of a disability inclusion paradigm on cultural intelligence development of organizational managers and experts.

Author Biographies

Konstantin V. Barannikov, Consulting company LLC "Institute of Management Design and Competitive Strategies", Yekaterinburg, Russia

Konstantin V. Barannikov has two major areas of research interests. The first is transformational processes in organizations at the regional and international levels. He investigates trends and tools for creating a Culture of Change, which is manifested in projects for managing the culture of industrial safety, professional culture in commercial, manufacturing companies, and non-profit organizations. The second is the phenomenon of extrability, scenarios of actualization, support, as well as forms of inclusive interaction.

Fayruza S. Ismagilova, Ural Federal University, Yekaterinburg, Russia

Fayruza S. Ismagilova’s research interests lie in three major areas. The first area is work experience as a competitive advantage in the labor market. She is interested in when, how, and why an expert's work experience cease to be of interest to the employer  and what efforts an expert should undertake do to save their experience as a competitive advantage in the labor market. The second area is managerial decision making, e.g., what typical decision-making stereotypes and cognitive biases may be considered as obstacles to improving managerial professional performance. The third area is effectiveness and efficiency of professional performance. Fayruza’s investigations were supported by eight research grants. Her main research results include 14 papers in journals indexed by SCOPUS and WoS, invitations to work as a visiting lecturer and researcher at universities in France, Germany, Slovenia, and Uzbekistan.

Zijun Li, Ural Federal University, Yekaterinburg, Russia

Zijun Li is a PhD student at the Ural Federal University. Her research interests include the effectiveness of inclusive interaction between employees in a culturally diverse workplace and the development of individual cultural intelligence during intercultural interactions. Her PhD thesis’s topic is pertaining to cultural intelligence moderating bias towards disability and intercultural cooperation between employees with and without disabilities. The PhD research project is funded by the China Scholarship Council, as well as by a supplementary grant from the Ural Federal University.

Oleg B. Kolpashchikov, “White Cane” NPO, Yekaterinburg, Russia

Oleg B. Kolpashchikov’s main research interest pertains to inclusive interaction, its following aspects in particular. The first aspect deals with scenarios underpinning effective inclusive social and business projects. The second aspect investigates the engagement of the representatives of different social groups in inclusive interaction. The third aspect raises the question of the role of inclusive interaction in creating new social models. Over the past 10 years, Oleg has received eight research grants, published two monographs and more than 20 articles. He worked as a visiting lecturer at universities in Russia, Poland, and Armenia.


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How to Cite
Barannikov, K., Ismagilova, F., Li, Z., & Kolpashchikov, O. (2021). Changing the Paradigm of Inclusion: How Blind People Could Help People without Disabilities to Acquire New Competences. Changing Societies & Personalities, 5(4), 581–599. doi:10.15826/csp.2021.5.4.151