“If this wasn’t here I probably wouldn’t be”: disabled workers’ views of employment support

Ruth Lewis, Lynn Dobbs, Paul Biddle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

UK Governments since 1997 introduced significant changes to move disabled people off benefits and into employment. Commentators have criticised the adoption of the ‘medical model’ of disability implicit in many of these policies, with its focus on individual rather than institutional change. This paper reports empirical data about participants’ experiences of one national supported employment programme. Participants of WORKSTEP were overwhelmingly positive about their experiences both of work and the support to find work. The rare reports of negative experiences reflect the focus on intervening at the level of individual workers, rather than the workplace or organisation of work. Analysis of their views is valuable in the light of ongoing welfare reform as well as recessionary pressures on labour markets and employment services, which, in emphasising individual solutions to employment problems, may overlook the need for more broad-based, social interventions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1089-1103
JournalDisability and Society
Volume28
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013

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