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Welfare Reform on the Web (June 2012): Services for the disabled - overseas

Researching the lives of disabled children and young people

Children and Society, vol. 26, 2012, p. 173-267

This special issue aims to increase awareness of disabled children and young people's views and experiences and of a range of ways to seek their opinions. It aims to present cutting-edge research about disabled children and young people, explore relevant theoretical frameworks, and examine current issues and debates at policy level. The first two papers each present a particular theoretical perspective for researching disabled children's lives, namely Childhood Studies and Disability Studies. The next two papers discuss studies using designs seldom employed in research about disabled children: longitudinal ethnography and population-based studies. The following papers focus on disabled children's rights, subjective wellbeing, and transition to adulthood in respect of young men with a life limiting condition. The issue concludes with a practice piece, an example of a young disabled people's group which has influenced policy at local, regional (Northern Ireland) and international levels.

Towards economic empowerment: segregation versus inclusion in the Kenyan context

D.S. Cobley

Disability and Society, vol. 27, 2012, p. 371-384

Article 27 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities emphasises their right to be treated fairly in work and employment and reflects the social model in its promotion of inclusion, participation and equality. This paper examines the issue of how best to promote economic empowerment of disabled people in the Kenyan context. It is based on the findings of a research visit to Kenya in 2010, which compared the effectiveness of segregated, institutional approaches to promoting economic empowerment, traditionally associated with the medical model of disability, with more inclusive, community-based approaches, reflecting the principles of the social model. It is concluded that, despite the success of inclusive strategies, segregated economic empowerment strategies may continue to play an important role in Kenyan disability service provision.

Towards sustainable hybrid relationships in cash-for-care systems

K. Christensen

Disability and Society, vol. 27, 2012, p. 399-412

Many European welfare states, including the UK and Norway, have introduced cash-for-care systems in order to bolster the independence of disabled people by enabling them to organise their own support and to employ their own personal assistants. Based on a small qualitative cross-national study about cash-for-care in the UK and Norway, this article explores how different cash-for-care systems produce different relationships between personal assistants and their employers. Results suggest that the British system tends to foster either subordination (of the disabled person or the personal assistant) or a relationship based on solidarity and emotional attachment. In contrast, the Norwegian system tends to produce more professional relationships based on contracts, job descriptions, performance reviews, etc. However, disabled people and their personal assistants actively shape their relationships, which can therefore run counter to the model intended by the system.

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