Blind justice?: an investigation into the social and economic effectiveness of discrimination law in the delivery of fair employment for visually impaired people

Griffith, David (2013) Blind justice?: an investigation into the social and economic effectiveness of discrimination law in the delivery of fair employment for visually impaired people. Doctoral thesis, London Metropolitan University.

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Abstract / Description

This inquiry examines why UK legal and social policy has not prevented the employment exclusion of visually impaired people. Visual Impairment is one of the largest impairment constituencies. As a result, mainstream access solutions are, increasingly, freely available in computers, phones and tablets. This provides the possibility of effective job productivity in virtually every workplace. Discrimination is also ostensibly illegal, yet visually impaired people are facing long term exclusion from the labour market. The investigation starts by offering some demographic evidence to justify this inquiry by assembling evidence for the relative size of the visual impairment population, and their employment exclusion. I will also outline some objective technological factors which should now support the employment of visually impaired people. Then, in Pari One, I commence with a historic contextualisation of social, economic and political drivers that have shaped our current legal and social policy framework. This will discuss the extent to which our current legal framework is an expression of historic pressures for reform. In Part Two, I shall evaluate current law and policy against its stated aims. shall examine how the drivers for, and resistance to, reform have found expression in our current framework. I examine the consequent paradoxes and contradictions played out in the history of discrimination law, including the strange death and resurrection of disability indirect discrimination. I try to outline why there may be only limited cause for optimism with the law in its current form. In Part Three, I shall propose practical reform to the current legislative and social policy framework. I will develop the case for collective, as opposed to individualised, social policy responses. I will propose a new system of Positive Enforcement of Disability Discrimination Law. This part will conclude by addressing the economic consequences of these reforms, and assemble economic evidence to support the inclusion of visually impaired people in employment. Finally, in Part 4 of this inquiry, I shall conclude with an examination of principles which could guide the future formulation of legal and social policy. I will consider the contemporary challenges to The Social Model of Disability. This Part considers what support the Social Model could receive from the Human Rights paradigm, including an analysis of the Capabilities Approach. Finally I consider what support the Social Model could receive from a new Politics of Disablement. The politics of identity management, dependency, and impairment will be investigated to establish what positive support could be politically assembled for the employment inclusion of visually impaired people.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Additional Information:
Uncontrolled Keywords: visually impaired people; visual Impairment; employment; exclusion from the labour market; discrimination; Social Model of Disability; Disability Discrimination Law
Subjects: 300 Social sciences > 340 Law
Department: Guildhall School of Business and Law
Depositing User: Chiara Repetto
Date Deposited: 08 Apr 2022 13:11
Last Modified: 08 Apr 2022 13:11


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