Chapter

Enabling futures for people with learning difficulties? Exploring employment realities behind the policy rhetoric

Alan Roulstone and Colin Barnes

in Working futures?

Published by Policy Press

Published in print November 2005 | ISBN: 9781861346261
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447304333 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781861346261.003.0016
Enabling futures for people with learning difficulties? Exploring employment realities behind the policy rhetoric

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This chapter contemplates the current nature of employment for people with learning difficulties and aims to envisage an enabling future. It critically considers some of the contemporary employment policies and programmes in Britain, making reference to a recent study of the work experiences of people with learning difficulties and unpacking the discourses and philosophies that underpin some of the interventions of professionals and policy makers. The chapter outlines the definition of ‘learning difficulties’. It explores how employment was considered in the 2001 White Paper, Valuing People. The chapter critically examines the impact of supported employment and its relationship with normalisation. It analyses the concept of ‘real jobs’ and the service culture to which many people with learning difficulties are confined. The chapter assesses the involvement of disabled professionals and organisations of disabled people in the employment of people with learning difficulties.

Keywords: employment; learning difficulties; contemporary employment policies; Britain; work experiences; Valuing People; real jobs

Chapter.  4747 words. 

Subjects: Social Stratification, Inequality, and Mobility

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