Ableism. It’s a word, like racism and sexism, that describes a societal condition that leads to widespread discrimination and segregation, but focuses on those with a disability label. If ableism describes the culture that subjects people with disabilities to rejection, how do we analyse a service system that tries to help people, but in doing so, ends up reinforcing ablistic values of the culture?

According to the Independent (27/9/17), ‘disabled people have to apply for 60% more jobs than non-disabled people before finding one’.

Although this is stupidly high, the figure is much lower than I would have expected. Unfortunately, my gut reaction would’ve guessed 250%.

The truth is that by the time employers get around to advertising for new staff they are under pressure to hire so ‘new’, ‘different’ or ‘unusual’ are not words employers generally want to read.

I don’t doubt the sincerity and commitment of many disability employment services (DES) staff working in for-profit companies. I have met some talented, experienced and passionate people from within.

However, the for-profit model does not serve people with disability.