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The Debate on Working for People Living with Disabilities

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The Debate on Working for People Living with Disabilities

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Many people with disabilities fear loss of essential benefits if they join the workforce. There are people living with impairments in every culture, at every socioeconomic level, and in every nation on the planet. Disabilities affect the lives of a significant number of people throughout the world, and this population is expected to continue to expand. It’s possible that in various parts of the world, the factors that lead to impairment and the effects it has on people would be quite different from one another. These differences are due to the fact that each state has its own unique set of social and economic conditions, as well as its own unique set of laws and regulations to enforce in order to keep its citizens healthy and secure. The policies in place today for people who have impairments is the result of advancements that have taken place over the course of the last two centuries (Bjørnshagen & Ugreninov, 2021). In a number of different ways, it illustrates how people lived throughout different periods as well as the social and economic policies that were in force at those times. On the other hand, there have been a number of shifts in how people who have disabilities live their lives as a result of developments in the field of impairments. People living with disabilities have a legitimate reason to be concerned because efforts to join the workforce usually means forfeiting a number of benefits. For example, while the loss of income may not be directly linked to removal of benefits, it could come in form of tax exemption. Such policies have led to increased fear for individuals with disabilities, leading to the decision to remain on employment benefits and other programs.

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Considering myself as a disabled individual, there are different modes of decision-making that would justify my decision to stay unemployed. To begin, the figures on the employment of persons with disabilities are so staggering that it’s hard to even comprehend them. The proportion of non-disabled individuals who are working is 82 percent, which is much higher than the percentage of disabled people who are employed, which is 53 percent (Bryan, Bryce, & Roberts, 2021). This suggests that those who have disabilities have a roughly twice as high of a risk of being unemployed as people who do not have impairments, and they have a risk that is three times as high of being economically inactive. In addition, Chatzitheochari and Platt (2019) found that the average monthly cost of living is higher for a person who is impaired as compared to a person who is able-bodied. The additional expenditures are never included into the advantages that people get from their work. When a handicapped person enters the employment, the social and financial advantages they get as a result of having a disability are considerably reduced. In addition to these concerns, it is essential to remember that this is the case. Despite having disadvantages in terms of inclusion, discrimination, access to resources, social inclusion, and other factors (Zallman et al., 2019), disabled people who start working are expected to perform as well as or even better than abled individuals. This is the case even though disabled people face additional challenges. It leads to a decision to remain unemployed because of the said hardships beginning with a lack of employment (or difficulties securing employment), loss of benefits, discrimination once an individual is able to start working, and increased cost of living to support the new lifestyle and movement. Because of this, Taylor (2018) highlights why a majority of disabled people in America elect to remain unemployed. As a result, I would make the decision to continue being jobless so that I could continue receiving the monetary, medical, and social advantages, in addition to staying inside a lower consumption curve.

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As a government organisation, it is important to ensure that people with disability not only see the need to work as part of their individual aspirations but also to reset the culture that has defined disability life. Arguably, it can be said that a person’s work is the single most important thing in their life. Individuals are able to satisfy their essential needs and improve their sense of security and well-being when they are actively engaged in productive job (Berghs et al., 2019). Everyone, even individuals with physical or mental impairments, has the legal right to have a job and support themselves financially. Realizing that a job is about much more than just making money is a crucial realization to get to. It is possible that it satisfies a wide range of extra criteria as well. When it comes to individuals with disabilities, a growing number of people see work as an essential component of not just social rehabilitation but also professional engagement. This is especially true of the disabled workforce. It is evident, when statistics are taken into consideration, that the number of people with disabilities who are employed is growing from one year to the next (Zallman et al., 2019). The percentage has risen from 21.1 percent in 2007 to 29.6 percent in 2017 on a review of the developed world (Taylor, 2018). During the same time period, the number of people who had jobs went up by ten percent, while the number of those who were unemployed went down by eight percent (Taylor, 2018). It is also very important to keep in mind that the figures only apply to impaired people who are of an appropriate age to be employed. Kavanagh et al. (2021) found that having a job enables one to better manage time throughout the day, make more money, introduces one to new people, and helps to accomplish personal and professional goals. People with disabilities who take part in the activation of their occupational potential via the occupational rehabilitation process play an important part in the overall rehabilitation process. People with disabilities who are able to maintain some kind of employment are better able to improve their health, as well as their social lives and their financial situations (Bryan, Bryce, & Roberts, 2021). Work not only shapes people’s perceptions of themselves and how well they fit in with society, but it also has the ability to give their lives meaning and direction. People who work tend to feel less socially isolated than those who do not. However, there is a notion that the inclusion of people with disabilities in the workforce gives them advantages while giving other disadvantages. This is a serious flaw in reasoning as expressed in the engineering theory where people use procedural rationality over substantive rationality.

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Still on the matter, government organisations must address the flaws in human decision making with regard to inclusion of disabled workforce. There are several considerations that an employer must take into account before deciding whether or not to keep an employee. The population of people with disabilities constitutes the biggest minority in the country and is also the only minority group that new members may join at any point in time (Berghs et al., 2019). People with disabilities sometimes have a more difficult time finding job due to the views of both their employers and their coworkers. Because they are often ignored and seen as second-class citizens or objects of charity, they have a sense of inadequacy, reliance, and insecurity as a result of this treatment. Not only do such pervasive societal views impact the social expectations and treatment afforded to individuals with disabilities in the society, but it also determines how such people see themselves and how they operate (Hersh, Leporini, & Buzzi, 2020). Over the course of time, attitudes regarding persons who have impairments have shifted and shifted significantly from one group to the next. In certain societies, people who have impairments are not accepted at all, while in others, they are considered to be social outcasts, and in yet other societies, they are seen as a liability. They are accorded a recognized standing and given the opportunity to engage to the best extent of their capabilities in various types of communal settings.

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People must not use COVID-19 as an excuse to remain on social benefits instead of getting back to the workforce. For such individuals, a different kind of reality applies to their situation. COVID-19, despite crippling the economy, has affected every person on earth. It has not selected a few as compared to how people living with disabilities remain an inconspicuous minority (Sabatello, Landes, & McDonald, 2020). As a direct consequence of the COVID-19 epidemic, the labor market is now in one of the most precarious conditions it has been in since the Great Depression. There is a good chance that the current economic crisis will make the poverty and inequality that already exists much worse. It’s possible that this will have repercussions down the road. As a direct consequence of the job problem, nations now have a responsibility to take all measures within their power to avert a catastrophe for their societies. Reconstructing a labor market that is both stronger and more secure is a necessary investment for future generations to make. On the other hand, the epidemic made preexisting trends like as remote work, online shopping, and automation even more pronounced. As a direct result of this, it is probable that up to twenty-five percent more people may need a change in work than was originally projected. Prior to COVID-19, the most significant barriers to employment were advances in technology and growing commercial connections (Shakespeare et al., 2021). During COVID-19, it was shown how important it is for some occupations to require a high level of physical exertion, which was a first. The COVID-19 epidemic has had a number of negative effects on our way of life, as well as the economy and the job market. The cumulative effect of all of these shocks has the potential to have a major influence on a person’s sense of self-worth. In this chapter, we will investigate the many of ways in which the pandemic has changed the global labor market and the workplace, as well as the myriad of ways in which these shifts have had an effect on the health and safety of workers all over the world.

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I believe that COVID-19 cannot be used to justify individuals being on social benefit when compared to individuals living with disabilities. This statement does not in any way negate the many negative effects that some communities and people have felt as a result of the pandemic. At the government level, those in charge of formulating public policy need to investigate the reasons behind why certain geographic areas and people were hit more severely economically than others by the epidemic (Sabatello, Landes, & McDonald, 2020). It is indisputable that there is a correlation between a region’s primary industry, that region’s economic susceptibility to the pandemic, and the fact that the recession affected six distinct metropolitan areas differently depending on race. Specifically, there is a correlation between a region’s principal industry and that region’s economic susceptibility to the pandemic. For instance, the tourism and transportation industries both sustained considerable financial losses and have not yet recovered to the levels they were at before the crisis. Despite the fact that it caused a substantial amount of damage, COVID-19 did not have any impact on several industries, like the leisure and hospitality industries. Some businesses have been hit more by the COVID-19 crisis than by any other recession in history. Some of these companies are dependent on the movement of their customers, while others, such as those that are reliant on the transfer of information, have largely been unaffected by the change. Because of this, the way in which the pandemic affects a region’s primary industry is the primary component in determining the economic geography of the COVID-19 recession. When you mix location and disability, you get an effect of the recession that has been largely neglected up until now: people who are able to live with a disability are having a harder time making ends meet than they were before the crisis (Smith & Wightman, 2021). People who are living with disabilities have been hit harder than others by the COVID-19 pandemic for three reasons: they are more likely to have negative outcomes from the disease, they have less access to routine health care and rehabilitation, and efforts to end the pandemic have had major societal consequences (Rotarou et al., 2021). As a consequence of this, COVID-19 cannot be thought of as being disabled. Those who are trying to conceal themselves under the epidemic should be aware that people with disabilities have been disproportionately affected by it (Shakespeare, Ndagire, & Seketi, 2021). As a consequence of this, they are required to go back to work in order to make more opportunities available to others who more justly merit them.

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References

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Berghs, M., Atkin, K., Hatton, C., & Thomas, C. (2019). Do disabled people need a stronger social model: a social model of human rights?. Disability & Society, 34(7-8), 1034-1039.

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Bjørnshagen, V., & Ugreninov, E. (2021). Disability disadvantage: experimental evidence of hiring discrimination against wheelchair users. European Sociological Review, 37(5), 818-833.

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Bryan, M. L., Bryce, A. M., & Roberts, J. (2021). Employment related COVID-19 exposure risk among disabled people in the UK. SSM-Population Health, 16, 100984.

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Chatzitheochari, S., & Platt, L. (2019). Disability differentials in educational attainment in England: Primary and secondary effects. The British journal of sociology, 70(2), 502-525.

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Hersh, M., Leporini, B., & Buzzi, M. (2020, September). Accessibility evaluation of video conferencing tools to support disabled people in distance teaching, meetings and other activities. In ICCHP (p. 133).

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Kavanagh, A., Dickinson, H., Carey, G., Llewellyn, G., Emerson, E., Disney, G., & Hatton, C. (2021). Improving health care for disabled people in COVID-19 and beyond: lessons from Australia and England. Disability and health journal, 14(2), 101050.

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Rotarou, E. S., Sakellariou, D., Kakoullis, E. J., & Warren, N. (2021). Disabled people in the time of COVID-19: identifying needs, promoting inclusivity. Journal of global health, 11.

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Sabatello, M., Landes, S. D., & McDonald, K. E. (2020). People with disabilities in COVID-19: fixing our priorities. The American Journal of Bioethics, 20(7), 187-190.

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Shakespeare, T., Ndagire, F., & Seketi, Q. E. (2021). Triple jeopardy: disabled people and the COVID-19 pandemic. The Lancet, 397(10282), 1331-1333.

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Shakespeare, T., Watson, N., Brunner, R., Cullingworth, J., Hameed, S., Scherer, N., … & Reichenberger, V. (2022). Disabled people in Britain and the impact of the COVID‐19 pandemic. Social Policy & Administration, 56(1), 103-117.

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Smith, B., & Wightman, L. (2021). Promoting physical activity to disabled people: messengers, messages, guidelines and communication formats. Disability and Rehabilitation, 43(24), 3427-3431.

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Taylor, D. M. (2018). Americans with disabilities: 2014. US Census Bureau, 1-32.

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Zallman, L., Finnegan, K. E., Himmelstein, D. U., Touw, S., & Woolhandler, S. (2019). Care for America’s elderly and disabled people relies on immigrant labor. Health Affairs, 38(6), 919-926.

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