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[Image: Lisa Norwood via photopin cc.]

So the Tories have moved from trying to make people with disabilities believe their health problems are all in their mind to trying to make them believe society is stopping them from getting a job?

Neither seem helpful ways of getting these people to live a useful life, if you ask This Writer!

And to be honest, I don’t see much effort made to get society to adjust to help people with disabilities. Look at Philip Hammond’s comment that disabled workers were holding back productivity in the UK economy.

He was saying there’s no point employing people with disabilities because the adjustments they require cancel out any usefulness they have.

How are we to expect employers to offer them any opportunities after that?

The Biopsychosocial model has been explored at length on This Site, and I am grateful to see that it is supposed to be discredited.

But I haven’t seen any evidence that the questions in assessment interviews have changed, or that the decisions made by assessors are based on criteria that are any more sympathetic.

According to Welfare Weekly, more than 220,000 people have been awarded zero points after being assessed for Personal Independence Payment, in the last 18 months.

The same article claimed 180,000 people have been denied PIP after being told to transfer from Disability Living Allowance, again in the last 18 months, despite having been in receipt of the other benefit.

These are people who have been told that there is nothing wrong with them – or at least nothing that would justify them drawing benefit money to help them cope with their disabilities in everyday life.

That seems to bear out the claim that the BPS model is still being used, and people are still being told their disabilities are all in their minds – and blamed for it, rather than helped.

The civil servant who leads the government’s work and health unit has sparked fresh concerns that the new disability employment strategy could be heavily influenced by the discredited “biopsychosocial” (BPS) model of disability.

Tabitha Jay told a meeting of the all-party parliamentary group for disability (APPGD) … that the social model of disability underpinned the strategy, which has an aim of seeing one million more disabled people in work over the next 10 years.

But she also appeared to suggest that the BPS model was “running in parallel” to the social model within the strategy.

The BPS model places blame for being unemployed on the individual disabled person and their supposed negative attitudes towards working, whereas the social model explains that it is the barriers in society – and not people’s impairments.

Source: Civil servant sparks fresh concerns over ideological basis of jobs strategy


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