My aims are to discuss the legislation and how it can be implemented into a welfare setting and how difficult it can be to implement the law. I will look at legislation and the mind field it can be, discrimination, how employers do it without realising, how our work place’s can and should be non-judgemental. I will look at individualism, client choice, and look at social perception and stereotyping.
I work within a community project, the project has been set up to relieve the effects of poverty and social deprivation within the county borough of Conwy by collecting unwanted furniture, household goods and domestic appliances and redistributing them at low cost to individuals and families on low income throughout the county borough.
The project provides work placements and training to individuals from the disadvantaged labour market.
The objectives are to work within a local and national framework designed to promote social inclusion. To help relieve socio-economic problems caused by debt burden on low income families.
To give real work experience, an individual structured training plan and job search skills all within a supportive environment to unemployed individuals, empowering them and helping them access unsubsidised sustainable employment within the local job market.
The training placements are for fixed term 4 and 6-month contracts.
The project must endeavour to change people’s behaviour, we must change people’s views on waste and the trainees must believe they can find full time employment.
Legislation is described in the oxford dictionary, as being “the act or process of making laws”.
The disability discrimination act defines a disabled person as someone with a “physical or mental impairment, which has substantial and long term effect on his ability to carry out normal day to day activities”. Its aims are to end discrimination which many disabled people face, by giving disabled people rights in the areas of Employment- Access to goods, facilities and service- Buying or renting land or property. Education, Schools colleges and other educational establishments must publish a disability statement in their annual report, which must give information about the arrangements they have made for the admission of disabled pupils. The government also set minimum standards so that disabled people can use public transport easily.
* Part 1 of the disability and discrimination act looks at Disability, meaning of “disability” and “disabled person”.
* Part 2 covers Employment, discrimination by employers and the meaning of discrimination.
* Part 3 covers Discrimination in other areas, goods, facilities and services.
* Part 4 covers Education and the education of disabled persons.
* Part 5 covers Public transport, including taxis and designated facilities.
A person has a disability for the purposes of this act if he has a physical or mental impairment, which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on his ability to catty out normal day-to-day activities.
I found the act did not define normal clearly enough, part 1 section 3(3) A tribunal or court determining, for the purpose of this act, whether an impairment has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on a persons ability to carry out normal day to day activities, shall take into account any guidance which appears to it to be relevant.
With in my work place we recently took on a young girl called Rachel who had only 25% hearing. The act in its self does not make it clear whether she would be classed as normal. We took as many precautions as we could.
The act states that we would discriminate against her or a disabled employee if we treated her less favourably, by not making reasonable adjustments. It was only when we carried out a fire drill that we realised that the evacuation process relied on an audible bell alarm with the appointed staff shouting “fire”. This would of course cause Rachel problems with not hearing the alarm. We could not afford to put in a new alarm system with flashing lights; we have appointed three people to be responsible for locating Rachel and evacuating her if there is a fire.
Part 2 of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (C.50) section 4 states it is unlawful for an employer to discriminate against a disabled person
(a) In the arrangements which he makes for the purpose of determining to whom he should offer employment
(b) In the terms on which he offers that person employment: or
(c) By refusing to offer, or deliberately not offering, him employment.
Section 4 (2) also states it is unlawful for an employer to discriminate against a disabled person whom he employs
The project I work for offers short term work placements for individuals from the disadvantaged labour market, this in its self is discriminatory, we are not funded for those who are not excluded, only for those who are excluded. By only offering employment to a smaller group will also exclude a vast amount of disabled people.
As Section 4 (5) states you can by virtue of section 55, discriminate against a person who is not disabled.
Section 6 looks at where, the section offers examples of steps which an employer may have to take in relation to a disabled person in order to comply with subsection (1) of the act.
(a) making adjustments to premises
(b) allocating some of the disabled persons duties to another person
(c) transfer him to fill an existing vacancy
(d) altering his working hours
(e) acquiring or modifying equipment
(f) modifying instruction or reference manuals
(g) providing a reader or interpreter
(h) providing supervision
To provide these changes it would be a costly process, my work is community funded with very little money provided for property or facility improvements. We would also have to provide adjustable racking for wheel chair users for furniture
and electrical displays, we may be able to provide short- term help, but long-term solutions most be the best solutions.
The Act should provide a guide to funding streams, to help provide employers with the funds and resources to implement a non discriminative environment.
Disabled people can be wrongly stereotyped, people have a tendency to :
* Stereotype disabled people as passive, dependent and in need of care (and sympathy);
* emphasise the negative effects of impairment; and
* treat disabled people as problems (rather than as people with problems caused by the social arrangements which undermine their autonomy and exclude them from mainstream society) (Thompson 2001)
We must be careful, people are not disabled, they are disabled people or even people with disabilities. Much work needs to be done before equality of opportunity can become a reality for disabled people. The charitable approach which presents disabled people as objects of pity and sympathy has a long legacy, and so its influence and consequences will not wither away overnight.
Its is important that we are non- judgemental and do not judge peoples worth by the part they play in production process and the creation of wealth. Disabled people are people first, this seems a straight forward statement but it something which is not always recognised.
The central concept in developing disabled people is that of empowerment. Traditional approaches to disability continued to disempower people with an impairment, to deprive them of aspects of control over their own lives. To give disabled people Individualism then they must be treated as individual and not discriminated because of the disability.
The laws aim is to provide us with a fair society, for people to have the choice where they want to work will mean
“The law and policy cannot alter the way in which people act, but aims to promote a fair society” discuss this statement with reference to one or more of the following pieces of legislation (wherever possible make reference to your work place / voluntary work placement):
* 1990 NHS and Community Care Act
* 1989 Children Act
* 1995 Disability Discrimination Act