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Towards a good life?

What does it mean to live a good life? Why has it proved so difficult for people with intellectual disabilities to live one? What happens when we make a good life the centre of our consideration of people with intellectual disabilities? These questions are explored through a re-examination of ideas from philosophy and social theory, and through personal life stories. This important and timely book provides an analysis and critique of current policies and underpinning ideologies in relation to people with intellectual disabilities and explores ways in which a good life may be made more attainable.

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In an era of scarce social resources the question of the changing social policy constructions and responses to disabled people has become increasingly important. Paradoxically, some disabled people are realising new freedoms and choices never before envisioned, whilst others are prey to major retractions in public services and aggressive attempts to redefine who counts as ‘genuinely disabled’.

Understanding disability policy locates disability policy into broader social policy and welfare policy writings and goes beyond narrow statutory evaluations of welfare to embrace a range of indicators of disabled people’s welfare. The book critically explores the roles of social security, social support, poverty, socio-economic status, community safety, official discourses and spatial change in shaping disabled people’s opportunities. It also situates welfare and disability policy in the broader conceptual shifts to the social model of disability and its critics. Finally it explores the possible connection between changing official and academic constructions of disability and their implications for social policy in the 21st century.

The book is supported by a companion website, containing additional materials for both students and lecturers using the book, which is available from the link above.

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Disabled parents’ experiences of raising children

This book reports on the first substantial UK study of parenting, disability and mental health. It examines the views of parents and children in 75 families. Covering a broad spectrum of issues facing disabled parents and their families, Parenting and disability:

provides a comprehensive review of relevant policy issues;

explores the barriers to full participation in parenting that disabled parents face;

examines the complex ways in which broader social divisions, including gender and socioeconomic status, interact with disability;

advocates measures to support disabled parents and their families by promoting and supporting relationships within the family.

The book is aimed at a wide audience, including students and academics in social policy, social work, disability studies, sociology, education, and nursing, people working in the voluntary sector, disabled activists and their supporters, as well as policy makers and practitioners in a range of statutory agencies.

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A global challenge

Available Open Access under CC-BY-NC licence. This book is about being disabled and being poor and the social, cultural and political processes that link these two aspects of living. Environmental barriers, limited access to services and discriminatory attitudes and practice are among key elements that drive disabled people into poverty and keep them there. 'Disability and poverty' explores the lived realities of people with disabilities from across the developing world and examines how the coping strategies of individuals and families emerge in different contexts.

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Towards a Critical Perspective
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Establishing a critical and interdisciplinary dialogue, this text engages with the typically disparate fields of social gerontology and disability studies. It investigates the subjective experiences of two groups rarely considered together in research – people ageing with long-standing disability and people first experiencing disability with ageing.

This book challenges assumptions about impairment in later life and the residual nature of the ‘fourth age’. It proposes that the experience of ‘disability’ in older age reaches beyond the bodily context and can involve not only a challenge to a sense of value and meaning in life, but also ongoing efforts in response.

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Disability is an increasingly vital contemporary issue in British social policy especially in education. Education, disability and social policy brings together for the first time unique perspectives from leading thinkers including senior academics, opinion formers, policy makers and school leaders. Key issues covered include: law and international human rights frameworks; policy developments for schools and school leaders; educational inequalities for disabled children and young people and curriculum design and qualifications changes for children who are being failed by the current education system.

The book is a milestone in social policy studies, of enduring interest to students, academics, policy makers, parents and campaigners alike.

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Introduction Disability is often understood within models that define it, shape self-identities and determine which professions engage (Smart, 2009 ). With a view to clarifying concepts at the outset, I discuss in this chapter how disability is understood. The chapter expands on one of the paradoxes identified in Chapter 1: how separate models are used to understand what disability is generally and to understand what it is in older age. First, I consider understandings within approaches to disability generally – involving two key models: social and

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Changes in perception and policy 1948–79
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Created during and after the Second World War, the British Welfare State seemed to promise welfare for all, but, in its original form, excluded millions of disabled people. This book examines attempts in the subsequent three decades to reverse this exclusion. It is the first to contextualise disability historically in the welfare state and under each government of the period. It looks at how disability policy and perceptions were slow to change as a welfare issue, which is very timely in today’s climate of austerity. It also provides the first major analysis of the Disablement Income Group, one of the most powerful pressure groups in the period and the 1972 Thalidomide campaign and its effect on the Heath government. Given the recent emergence of the history of disability in Britain as a major area of research, the book will be ideal for academics, students and activists seeking a better understanding of the topic.

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Transnational Perspectives on People, Policy, and Practice

With contributions from distinguished authors in 14 countries across 5 continents, this book provides a unique transnational perspective on intellectual disability in the twentieth century. Each chapter outlines different policies and practices, and details real-life accounts from those living with intellectual disabilities to illustrate their impact of policies and practices on these people and their families.

Bringing together accounts of how intellectual disability was viewed, managed and experienced in countries across the globe, the book examines the origins and nature of contemporary attitudes, policy and practice and sheds light on the challenges of implementing the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCPRD).

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Private lives and public policies

Combining critical policy analysis with biographical accounts, this book provides a socio-historical account of the changing treatment of disabled people in Britain from the 1940s to the present day. It asks whether life has really changed for disabled people and shows the value of using biographical methods in new and critical ways to examine social and historical change over time.

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