Massie points to danger of emphasis on work

The government’s emphasis on getting disabled
people into work risks stigmatising those who are not able to, the
chairperson of the Disability Rights Commission warned.

Massie told delegates that, while much of the government’s policy
on getting disabled people into employment was “helpful”, there was
a danger that those who were unable to work would become

warned against elevating work to a “deity status”, adding: “There
is a contradiction in government policy because we need to be
asking whether those disabled people who cannot work are getting
enough money to have a decent quality of life.

whole issue about work is not just about the motivation of the
individual disabled person, it’s about the infrastructure that is
available to help them into work,” said Massie.

authorities had completely different policies, which varied in
quality, and they often intervened far too late.

asked whether “social services just encourage people to have low
aspirations”. Pointing to the closure of many day centres, he
added: “You do have to wonder what decade people are living

Councils and social care
providers should also be leading the way in employing disabled
people, he said.

Speaking at the same session,
Frances Hasler, director of the Centre for Independent Living, said
there was a need for changed work practices so that, for example,
people who needed physiotherapy would not have to take time off
work, arrangements which many employers would not look upon


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