This textbook brings together a wide range of expert voices from the field of disability studies and the disabled people's movement to tackle the essential topics relevant to this area of study. From the outset disability is discussed from a social model perspective, demonstrating how future practice and discourse could break down barriers and lead to more equal relationships for disabled people in everyday life.
An interdisciplinary and broad-ranging text, the book includes 50 chapters on topics relevant across health and social care. Reflective questions and suggestions for further reading throughout will help readers gain a critical appreciation of the subject and expand their knowledge.
This will be valuable reading for students and professionals across disability studies, health, nursing, social work, social care, social policy and sociology.
Chapter 50: Welfare Reform
There is a real sense in which, as Harlan Hahn (in Oliver and Barnes 1998: 36) has argued, ‘Fundamentally disability is defined by public policy. In other words, disability is whatever policy says it is.’ We can see this in the way that large numbers of people ‘became’ disabled during the 1980s when the Conservative government decided to move them from unemployment to Invalidity Benefit (later Incapacity Benefit and Employment Support Allowance) to mask their failure to reduce unemployment figures (Roulstone and Prideaux 2012: 16). Approximately half of the cuts (£4.87 billion) currently being made to disabled people's living standards are being achieved through moving disabled people off Incapacity Benefit/Employment Support Allowance onto Job Seekers Allowance. They are being redefined as non-disabled even ...