Persons Living with Disabilities (PLWDs)

Governments all over the world have embarked on challenging and ambitious vision to enable the achievement substantive equality especially for the disabled persons among other minority and marginalized people. People living with disabilities deserve equal choices and opportunities to enable them bolster the quality of their lives. They should be treated equal members in any society. Disability is the result of an impairment, which may be cognitive, physical, sensory, emotional, mental, developmental, or a combination of them. It is a problem in the structure or function of the body. People have realized that disability can happen during a lifetime of a person or is possessed since birth and ranges from soft, moderate, to profound degree (Clark, & Griffiths, 2008).

This essay will seek to analyze research and issues revolving around the impacts of dissimilar disabilities on the individuals. Moreover, this essay will explore the sociological and psychological perspectives relating to disabilities. The implications of National Service Framework on dissimilar needs for this particular client group, accessibility of services based on equitable opportunities, and caregivers will be provide for people with disabilities. Lastly, this paper will demonstrate a comprehension of inter-relationships between the innumerable social barriers relating to inclusion of people with disabilities. It will then evaluate the effects of society, politics, class, culture, and gender on disability and the development of self-worth, self-concept, self-advocacy, and self-esteem.

Literature Review

Daniel Wilson posits that masculinity characteristics include activeness, courage, speed, strength, and endurance. However, these characteristics are challenged whenever people are faced with disability. A redefinition of masculinity becomes a necessity. There are many examples of people with disabilities such as those with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADHD/ADD), depression, physical symptoms like those with slow movement, and those with social symptoms like reduced interests. Burke (2008) argues that people with disabilities are members of the society just like the normal people. They, therefore receive similar opportunities like everyone else. However, the problems in the structure and function of their bodies limit their chances of using these opportunities. Again, they receive discrimination from other members of the society.

Leonard Kriegel argues that accepting one’s disability is hard especially because people value able-bodiedness in men. Accepting poliomyelitis is hard. Parson argues that when illness sets in, the ‘sick’ should adopt. This is because disease and illness impede both psychological and physiological abilities. The disabled are relieved of normal responsibilities and expectations. Parsons in his sickness analysis demonstrates that in deed disability can culminate to social deviance. To Goffman(1963), people with disability are usually stigmatized since they are traditionally considered a blemish or mark denoting some moral inferiority. Stigma application is the result of social interactions and situational considerations between ‘abnormal’ and ‘normal’ people. Imposed segregation, inferior status, and passivity of the disabled without addressing causality questions seriously is both immoral and insensitive.

Conceptual Framework

Personal tragedy theory is founded on the presumption that realization of disability lead to ‘personal tragedy’ or loss. When people with disability fail to accomplish set goals, their perceived inadequacy come into play, whether intellectually or physically, or even both. People with disabilities are exonerated from responsibilities. For them to be exonerated from these responsibilities then they must first accept their condition to give room for understanding of their perceived inadequacy.

The social constructionist theory perceives the disability problem as located in the minds of the non-disabled. It is individually a prejudice and collectively as a manifestation of innumerable hostile social practices and attitudes based on negative assumptions regarding disability. The disability is the result of some institutionalized practice in the contemporary society. The psychoanalytic theory is the personality organization definition. It underlies and guides psychodynamic and psychoanalytic psychotherapy. There are many psychological attributes making up the mind according to Sigmund Freud. Development and genetic aspects examination is important especially among people with disability.

Disability Models

There are three disability models. First, medical model perceives disabilities in terms of people’s impairment, which medical science should ‘cure’ or treat. People with disabilities have varied experiences that determine how they see disability. Secondly, social model perceives disability as resulting from how societies are organized. This perspective is helpful in helping the disabled. It points out that ‘disabling barriers’ arise from environmental, economic, and attitudinal factors, which prevent them from experiencing equality opportunity with the non-disabled. Lastly, the bio-psychosocial model is the integration of social and medical model. Disability is a process that brings together individual, societal, and medical factors.

Policies for People Living with Disabilities

Measuring disability in U.K. has been affected by medical model especially in surveys especially for population surveys and censuses of 1971 as well as 1988. There may be a link between a disability and impairment. Different impairments affect individual’s lives in dissimilar ways. People who have similar impairments may have different disabilities. The Social model has been significant in the U.K. in terms of supporting independent living among the disabled.

In the U.K., there is a Disabled People’s Movement (DPM) that aims at changing perceptions regarding disability. The United Kingdom has developed several measures to protect them. This is because of their requirement for special treatments. Laws have been developed to protect the disabled from any kind of discrimination. These laws are in accordance to the universal human rights, which recognize the equality of all people. Examples of these laws are the Equality Act of 2010, the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), and the Mental Health Act of 2007.

The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) has been very important. Equally, the Mental Health Act of 2007 made very significant transforms to the mental capacity law and mental health in Wales and England. The Act raises several issues that relate to the appropriateness of powers that authorities use to detain and restrict civil liberties of people with mental health problems use. The Act wants to make mental health everyone’s business (Barber, et al 2009). Good quality mental health and welfare benefit every individual. Every individual has a responsibility for his/her mental health and that of others. This Act, thus, challenges discrimination and stigmatization. It does this by making everyone in the society a part of a solution for mental health. It supports togetherness and fights the propensity for some people to see people with mental health problems as having their own problems (Jones, 2010).

Impacts on the Self-worth of People with Disabilities

Legislations have worked to improve the dignity of the people with disabilities. They have strengthened their self-worth or respect by being very protective to them. They recognize that even though they have disabilities, they are still human beings as the rest of the people in the society. They act like a barrier to any discrimination that can be thrown against a person with disability. For instance, article 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) disallows any discrimination. On the same path, the Equality Act of 2010 fosters in every person the feeling of equality and sameness. The Mental Act of 2007 tries to involve everyone in the provision of solutions to a problem.This fosters the feeling of togetherness and like Equality Act tries to remove the feeling of being different. These legislations, therefore, promotes the feeling being a human being whether disabled or not and thus promotes the sense of being worth (Koch, 2009).

Policy Changes

Migration and ageing population are two key demographic developments facing Europe in the future. Migration and ageing population can pressure the labor supply, health, public budgets, and infrastructure provision. This fact is increase by the high long life expectancy and the reduced fertility levels. By 2060, it is expected that half of the European population will be 48 years or/and above. Even though the fertility is expected to increase from 1.52 in 2008 to 1.57 in 2030 to 1.64 by 2060, the rate of replacement will be below the desired rate of 2.1. Again, the life expectancy will go up from 76 years in 2008 to 84.5 years by the year 2060.

Several measures have been put forwards to address the problem. These measures differ from region to region because the effects of ageing work force differ between regions. Some of the suggested remedies are the provision of technical infrastructure, social infrastructure, increasing mobility of workers, provision of services and products to the older people and many more. The provision of services and products is an important act as the aged are sometimes identified as disabled people. This policy was developed with the view that the aged are a market to specific services and products (French, & Swain, 2008). It is argued that the increased population of the aged has a consumption potential. Regions like Kainuu in the eastern part of Finland have implemented the suggestion by developing special facilities for older people. The region of Kainnu wants to improve its services and products to attract the older population to the region (Gortázar, 2012).

The Housing support is another type of policy that was introduced by the Department of Work and Pensions. The program is being introduced under the Universal Credit, which is a new payment system that benefits the people on a low-income scheme and those looking for work. It covers the working age tenants. It was enforced April of 2013, when the working age occupants of a house belonging to a housing association, local authority or any other mandated social landlord stopped receiving financial help for an extra room. Instead, they are to receive help based on the needs of their household. Nevertheless, this condition does not affect the disabled tenants. The disabled tenants requiring non-residential house for a night are allowed an extra room each. This program requires children under the age of 16 to share a room if they are of the same gender. Children under the age of 10 are also expected to share a room regardless of the gender. Nevertheless, this requirement does not include the disabled children. Disabled children are entitled to an extra room each. The claimant for an extra house is only required to provide the medical evidence to show their disabilities (Great Britain, 2012).

Impacts of Policy Changes

Such policy changes possess both positive and negative effects on the self-worth of the disabled individuals. Just like what the current legislations do, these policies give the disabled a reason to live. For instance, the improvement and provision of special services and products to the older generations portray their importance to the society. Even though the development of this policy was instigated by economical reasons, it portrays the way the society view the older society. It portrays that the society still needs the aged population. By this fact, the aged will not feel that they have outlived their importance. Instead, they will feel that they are still loved. This raises the level of their self-worth or dignity. This is because they will view themselves as important people of the society.

The program that is introduced under the Universal Credit has both beneficial and detrimental effects to the self worth of the disabled persons. The benefit comes from the fact that this program gives the disabled tenants a feeling of importance. By the fact that the program set aside an extra room for a disable tenant comes with a feeling of importance. Before this program, all people both the disabled and the normal were provided with an extra house. By introducing this policy with the benefit of an extra house going only to the disabled, portrays their importance. However, this action can be read in a detrimental angle. By making the disabled look important, this program might harm them. It might make them look different from the rest of the community members thereby attracting for themselves discrimination. This may lead to the feel of unworthiness and thus to the reduction of the self-worth of the disabled. To reduce the probability of experiencing it, programs that show equality for everybody should always be implemented (Healey, 2003).

NHS and Social Care

Social care services assist people from every, occupation, lifestyle, their carers, and their families. People need support due to a myriad of reasons. Such includes old age, poverty, or disability. Local authorities are charged with the responsibility of providing the social care service. Autonomous providers provide some of these services. Disabled people should seek support from local authority. Social care services covers people with disabilities, healthcare, day centers, financial support, advisory and information services, advocacy, care home, support for the carers, and community activities and support.

People living with disabilities should be assisted to assess National Health and social care services. While what they may get is just minor assistance, like meals on wheelchairs, helping in washing, feeding, dressing, and using toilets, these services make huge differences to their lives. People should contact social care teams in their councils to assist people living with disabilities. The National Service Framework provides equal opportunities for various client groups.

Conclusion

The disabled people are members of the society just like every other person. However, their special requirements make them different from the other people. Policy changes and legislatives may strengthen or destroy the self worth of the disabled. Legislations like the Equality Act of 2010 strengthen the self-worth of people with disability as it makes them look equal to the rest of the community members. Like the legislations, policy also improved the feel of self-worth. However, they can lead to the discrimination of these people as they make them look different from the rest of the people. This paper has demonstrated the social barriers to inclusion of people living with disabilities on society, gender, class, culture, and class on disability.

References

  • Burke, P. (2008). Disability and impairment working with children and families. London, Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
  • Clark, L. L., & Griffiths, P. (2008). Learning disability and other intellectual impairments meeting needs throughout health services. Chichester, John Wiley & Sons.
  • French, S., & Swain, J. (2008). Understanding disability: a guide for health professionals. Edinburgh, Elsevier/Churchill Livingston
  • Thomas, D., & Woods, H. (2003). Working with people with learning disabilities theory and practice. London, Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
  • Healey, J. F. (2003). Race, ethnicity, gender, and class: the sociology of group conflict and change. Thousand Oaks, Calif, Pine Forge Press
  • Mccolgan, A. (2011). Equality Act 2010. Liverpool, The Institute of Employment Rights.
  • Jones, R. M. (2010). Mental Health Act manual. London, Sweet & Maxwell.
  • Barber, P., Brown, R., & Martin, D. (2009). Mental health law in England and Wales a guide for mental health professionals including the text of the Mental Health Act 1983 as amended by the Mental Health Act 2007. Exeter, Learning Matters.
  • Koch, I. E. (2009). Human rights as indivisible rights the protection of socio-economic demands under the European Convention on Human Rights. Leiden, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers.
  • Gortázar, C. (2012). European migration and asylum policies: coherence or contradiction? : an interdisciplinary evaluation of the EU programmes of Tampere (1999), The Hague (2004) and Stockholm (2009). Bruxelles, Bruylant.
  • Great Britain. (2012). The draft Universal Credit Regulations 2013: the Benefit Cap (Housing Benefit) Regulations 2012 (S.I. 2012 no. 2994) : the draft Universal Credit, Personal Independence Payment, Jobseeker’s Allowance and Employment and Support Allowance (Claims and Payments) Regulations 2013. Norwich, Stationery Office
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