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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/25658

Title: Activation of persons with disabilities. An analysis of the perspective of professionals in supported employment programmes
Authors: Hardonk, Stefan
Jammaers, Eline
Zanoni, Patrizia
Issue Date: 2015
Citation: 13th Nordic Network on Disability Research (NNDR) Conference, Bergen, Norway, 06-08/05/2015
Abstract: Welfare states in Europe and other parts of the western world have placed strong emphasis on activation of persons who receive social security benefits, rendering welfare state arrangements conditional upon active participation in the open labour market. Persons with disabilities are increasingly also targeted by activation policies, although the compulsory character of these policies is not yet as strong as with regard to other target groups. The emphasis on activation in social policy coincides with growing attention for disabled persons´ right to work, which is made explicit in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. As a consequence, many welfare states have passed legislation and implemented policy instruments aimed at supporting persons with disabilities in entering the labour market, developing necessary skills, obtaining and maintaining jobs. These initiatives are commonly referred to as supported employment programmes. Although they share a general aim, they exist in different shapes and pursue their goals using different methods, starting from different assumptions. Research has generated evidence for the effectiveness of supported employment programmes and of their different components. However, less attention has been given to the assumptions underlying the services provided to persons with disabilities. Within disability studies these are of particular importance, because they impact the degree to which services can be considered as beneficial to disabled persons´ enjoyment of their human rights. In this study we aimed to uncover different assumptions behind employment support service provision and their consequences for service providers´ approach of their clients. We analysed from a critical discursive perspective qualitative interviews with representatives of 8 employment support services in Flanders, Belgium. Through a process of open coding text fragments that pertained to service providers´ views on activation and the position of persons with disabilities were selected for classification and further interpretation. The results show that on the one hand all services place much emphasis on the individual and his/her workability and responsibility, potentially confirming exclusion processes in the open labour market. On the other hand, the individual understanding of employment support was also challenged based on collective notions of citizenship, empowerment and social justice.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/25658
Category: C2
Type: Conference Material
Appears in Collections: Research publications

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