This new book introduces the difference model of disability. Framed within an affect-based understanding of the relationships between those living with impairments and others, this new model offers a reconsideration of the construct of disability itself. Disability is flexible, relational, and perceived through an acognitive lens. At a practice level, the difference model offers a framework for creating more positive and successful relationships between people with disabilities and others within the workplace.
"This is an enthralling contribution to the disability debate, benefiting from a grounding in empirical social science." Tom Shakespeare, Professor of Disability Research, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
"Readers will find this book to be an invaluable landmark guide to understanding their evolving disability inclusion employment practices." Elias Mpofu, Professor of Rehabilitation and Health Services, University of North Texas
"At a moment when social justice issues are at an all-time high in focus, It is most timely to have a book on this topic." Susanne Bruyere, Professor of Disability Studies, Academic Director, Yang-Tan Institute on Employment and Disability, Cornell University
The difference model of disability is described within a conceptual framework that focuses on employer and co-worker attitudes as the principal mitigators of barriers to employment for people with disabilities. These attitudes are explained as the result of affect-based responses to perceived difference, particularly as this applies within the workplace.
In this article, the difference model of disability is presented as an alternative understanding of the social forces that affect the employment success for people with disabilities. This conceptualization of disability provides a new approach to vocational training for those who support people with disabilities entering the workforce. It offers equal value to those individuals with disabilities who are independently seeking their own vocational opportunities.
This article reports on the development of the Co-Worker Acceptance of Disabled Employees (CADE) Scale, a self-report questionnaire designed to measure workplace attitudes toward employees with disabilities. Data analysis revealed that workplace attitudes toward employees with disabilities are based on perceived differences between those with disabilities and others. Data gathered from administrations of the CADE Scale have provided evidence of attitude change subsequent to workplace disability-related interventions and training.
Results from this study suggest that attitudes of Armenian employers toward people with disabilities, and subsequent hiring decisions, are partly informed by perceptions of the negative reactions of others within the workplace. This finding disagrees with studies from other jurisdictions, which generally consider that these attitudes are principally informed by perceived skills deficits on the part of people disabilities. These results support the development of employer-focused information and awareness campaigns.
This article summarizes a systematic review of 49 studies, each of which presented an instrument that was intended to measure some aspect of attitudes toward people with disabilities. Of these, nine were selected as being most likely to be applicable to the workplace. However, further analyses revealed that each of these lacked a degree of theoretical validity necessary for a reasonable degree of confidence in their results. This common deficiency supported the development of a new workplace-related measure that addressed this concern.
This study presents three perspectives about how the life experience of individuals with disabilities is profoundly affected by the attitudes of others. The first of these perspectives is that shared by three individuals who had sustained significant, traumatic injuries. The second of these comes from the author, as a person with a virtually lifelong disability. And the third of these perspectives is offered through a fictional representation of the role that the attitudes of others play in the lives of people with disabilities.
This article explores some of the ethical and scientific issues that have become current as disability is increasingly seen as a state within which a person is both entitled to be and, at their discretion, capable of being remediated. These developments have begun to generate significant tensions in how we understand disability and social inclusion. Topics include possible impacts on employment, accommodations, and identity itself.
This article summarizes a two-year pilot project that was implemented in the Yukon, Canada to test the value and benefits of providing free, on-demand professional American Sign Language interpretation services to all members of the local Deaf community. The first project evaluation indicated enhanced communications in medical services, employment, and quality-of-life activities for a majority of Deaf community members.