Working Futures? Disabled People, Policy and Social Inclusion
Edited by Alan Roulstone and Colin Barnes, The Policy Press
ISBN (PB): 1861346263, £27.50
ISBN (HB): 1861346271, £55
STAR RATING: 5/5
This collection of academic research, review and policy papers maps out attitudes of governments and employers towards disabled people, and puts these in both a historical and global context, writes Simon Heng.
In the light of the present government’s aim of getting one million of those claiming incapacity benefit into work, this book provides evidence that current strategies are not achieving the desired outcome.
For example, although the government has adopted the social model of disability in theory, measures to help people into paid employment – Workstep, Access to Work – are based on the individual’s impairments (the medical model) rather than institutional and attitudinal barriers to inclusion.
Alongside the critiques, there are positive suggestions as to how to redefine disability, impairment and the notion of work itself, alongside ideas for restructuring disabled people’s involvement in decision-making and in society at large.
The final two chapters, “Disabled People, The State and Employment”, and “Work is a Four-letter Word”, give concise, thought-provoking and readable overviews of the field. This is essential for anyone involved in disability policy-making, human resources, supported employment or day services.
Simon Heng is involved in service user issues, and writes a weekly column for Community Care