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Welfare Reform on the Web (May 2011): Services for the disabled - overseas

Disabled people's living standards: filling a policy vacuum

D.P. Doessel and R.F.G. Williams

International Journal of Social Economics, vol.38, 2011, p. 341-357

Disabled people may need more income than an able-bodied person to do the same things. A given income does not 'go as far' due to additional expenditures on paid carers. Other examples of expenditures include wheelchairs, ramps, etc. This challenge is called a 'conversion handicap' by Sen, referring to the disadvantage a disabled person has in converting money into good living. This paper analyses the implications of the conversion handicap for the income support component of disability policy for people whose earnings from paid work are zero, due to their disabilities. It applies the twin notions of horizontal and vertical equity (from the normative theory of just taxation) to develop a framework for the distribution of grants to people with varying levels of disability.

The right to assistive technology: for whom, for what, and by whom?

J. Borg, S. Larsson and P.O. Östergren

Disability and Society, vol. 26, 2011, p. 151-167

Despite the positive impact that assistive technologies can have on the lives of people with disabilities, enabling them to exercise human rights and fundamental freedoms, access to them is limited in many countries. However, access to assistive technologies is required to comply with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). These requirements are scattered in different articles, which makes it difficult for users of the CRPD to know what should be done for whom and by whom. This article attempts to clarify the opportunities and limitations of the CRPD as regards assistive technology.

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