‘Work’ is a Four Letter Word? Disability, Work and Welfare
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[Excerpt] This chapter suggests that to overcome the problem of disabled people’s ongoing disadvantage in mainstream employment and, therefore, society, a radical alternative strategy is required that poses a direct challenge to orthodox thinking on work, and associate policies that centre almost exclusively on disabled workers. Building on long standing analyses from within the disability studies literature, it is argued that an holistic approach is needed that includes: a/ the reconfiguration of the meaning of work for disabled people; b/ the de-stigmatisation of associate welfare provision; and c/ that the theoretical and practical foundations for such an approach have already been laid (Abberley 2002: Barnes 2000: 2003: Oliver and Barnes 1998). It begins with an overview of theoretical considerations with reference to the concept of ‘independent living’ for disabled people and the social model of disability. Attention will then centre on the organisation of labour, the reconfiguring of work for disabled people, and its implications for work and welfare in the 21st century.
disability; employment; labor; disabled workers; welfare