Just catching up on RADAR’s report on what disabled people need to support sustainable careers (report here, pdf).
As ever, the report provides an excellent overview of the issues affecting disabled people in the area of employment, and brings a useful and progressive focus on what can practically be done to address these issues, in the form of 10 propositions.
There are two messages that particularly stand out for me from the report.
The first is that “open” employment is far more preferable than “closed” (or “special”) employment, i.e. those roles specifically designed for disabled people. This is a relatively brave message for RADAR to promote, but it’s one I support since it sets expectations far higher, on both employers and disabled employees.
The second is the idea not of simply securing jobs for disabled people, but ensuring that careers are equally available. Linked to this is the idea of achieving not the ‘job security’ of a job for life, but ‘career security’ through acquiring marketable skills and experience.
Time and time again I am reminded that the aspirations of disabled people for employment are exactly the same as non-disabled people (decent pay, status, security, feeling respected and valued, social interaction). RADAR’s report is a welcome addition to the vast literature on employment for disabled people, with a noticeably practical edge to its findings.