Job crafting is the process by which employees take active steps in defining and designing their own job experience in a personally meaningful way . A person’s work life and career can ultimately be deconstructed to the day-to-day job tasks they perform, the people they interact with, and the value and meaning they attach to their jobs. While the specific job tasks employees engage in are primarily determined by job descriptions, most employees have some latitude in determining how they perform job tasks. For example, a restaurant manager who is responsible for ordering supplies and stock may choose to do the same online versus via a phone call, depending on his/her personal preference, thus crafting how he/she performs the job.
Job crafting is a ‘bottom-up’ approach to job redesign [10, 11] and occurs in three primary areas: (1) Task crafting refers to changes in job tasks and how they are performed. Task crafting occurs when employees take on additional responsibilities, emphasizing certain job tasks or redesigning job tasks . For people with disabilities, task crafting can include informal alternate ways of performing a job task, the use of assistive technology, reasonable accommodations, or job redesign. (2) Relational crafting refers to changing the extent or nature of one’s interactions with people within and outside the organization. Relational crafting occurs when workers build new relationships, reframe existing relationships, and adapt relationships. Relational crafting can also be embedded within task crafting, wherein social interactions are molded within the context of a task, thereby altering the way a task is performed. (3) Cognitive crafting involves changing perceptions about one’s job or job tasks to enhance meaningfulness. This is a mental or cognitive type of job crafting since it does not involve making any physical or social changes but rather involves reshaping of one’s own thoughts and perceptions about one’s job. Cognitive crafting can take the form of expanding perceptions, focusing perceptions, or linking perceptions where people make connections between different aspects of their job tasks to create a meaningful schema.
Job crafting has been found to be positively associated with levels of work engagement [13,14,15]. Internal job crafting, defined as cognitive actions within a person, is negatively associated with job satisfaction and is positively associated with structural job crafting . Internal job crafting is positively related to job burnout in that those who engage in internal job crafting are more likely to experience heightened emotional exhaustion and depersonalization. Structural job crafting, defined as behavioral interactions within the work environment, is negatively related to burnout dimensions (emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, lack of accomplishment) .
Prior research among the general population has suggested that high levels of self-efficacy and proactive personality traits [15, 16] are positively associated with job crafting behaviors. Self-efficacy is important not only for career success but also for long-term career trajectories . Social cognitive theory [18,19,20] posits that all individuals strive for a sense of agency or control over their lives and that this agency results from a dynamic process among behavioral, environmental and personal interactions. This has relevance for job crafting as individuals may engage in job crafting behaviors to foster their sense of agency in the workplace. Job crafting can also be thought of as embodying certain aspects of positive psychology theory. As positive psychology theory suggests that individuals derive different meanings from work based on an interplay of thoughts, feelings and behaviors, elements of job crafting reflect this viewpoint .
A recent meta-analysis of job crafting research conducted on the general population noted two types of intrinsic motives that might influence an individual’s motivation to undertake job crafting: proactive and reactive motives. “Proactive motives refer to employees wanting to initiate job crafting to reach desirable goals, while reactive motives are related to the need to cope with adversity” . Lazazzara and colleagues  identified three different types of job crafting dimensions: approach crafting in which employees add extra tasks or reframe work roles, avoidance crafting where workers reduce workplace roles and limit social ties, and, crafting in other domains. All can occur with each type of job crafting (cognitive, relational and task). A consideration of the mix of motives as well as the dimensions listed above may be particularly relevant when considering how workers with disabilities craft their jobs.
Demerouti and Peeters  showed that crafting aimed at minimizing job demands may be a protective or reactive mechanism to address one’s health or emotional exhaustion. Many individuals with disabilities strive to work, overcome barriers in the workplace, and retain their jobs . They do so by actively managing their careers, advocating for themselves, and adapting to work roles for successful integration in the workplace . According to data from the 2015 Kessler Foundation National Employment and Disability Survey (KFNEDS), 16% of workers with disabilities have faced negative attitudes on the part of supervisors and 41% of those workers have stated that they have overcome those barriers. Similarly, 16% of workers with disabilities have faced negative attitudes on the part of co-workers and 55% of those workers stated they have overcome those barriers . Some of the workers who were successful in overcoming these barriers may have used idiosyncratic deals  or innate job crafting skills.
The most frequently used types of workplace accommodation are flexible schedules and modified job duties [3, 25]. Acquiring these accommodations can happen through a formal request, where the employee discloses their disability and requests a reasonable accommodation under the ADA or informally where employees make deals to re-arrange their schedule with their employer or co-workers [25, 26]. Dong and colleagues  showed that accommodations requests through informal channels were more popular than formal requests. While it is helpful to understand, for example, the 28% of workers with disabilities have a flexible schedule and 14% of workers with disabilities have modified job duties, more information is needed about how accommodations are implemented for workers with disabilities and whether job crafting skills were used to request those accommodations . To date, however, evidence demonstrating the use of job crafting by workers with disabilities has been minimal.
Markel and Barclay  conducted interviews with 17 workers with disabilities who were professionally employed and had at least an undergraduate degree to determine how workers with disabilities navigate the employment and accommodation process. They found that the timing of disability onset and the presence of a key support person were important factors associated with the successful navigation of professional needs. The study participants did not rely on the human resources department of their employer to receive workplace accommodations, and instead, individually crafted their jobs to develop careers. Decisional control, self-advocacy, and persistence have been found to be protective of employment for people dealing with pain and other chronic conditions [28, 29]. Tait  recommends that those at risk of job loss due to pain would benefit from psychosocial interventions, including job crafting, that can assist individuals in effectively managing limited personal resources when faced with chronic pain.
The purpose of this paper is to extend research on job crafting to the population with disabilities, investigating whether workers with disabilities informally participate in job crafting behaviors and if so, what individual characteristics might be associated with job crafting behaviors. Our specific research questions are:
Are workers with disabilities less likely to participate in job crafting than others?
Among workers with disabilities, what individual characteristics are associated with higher levels of job crafting?