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Transforming Disability into Ability

Policies to Promote Work and Income Security for Disabled People

Transforming Disability into Ability by Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
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How OECD countries can reconcile the twin, but potentially contradictory, goals of disability policy has yet to be resolved. One goal is to ensure that disabled citizens are not excluded from society: that they are encouraged and empowered to participate as fully as possible in economic and social life, and in particular to engage in gainful employment, and that they are not ousted from the labour market too easily and too early. The other goal is to ensure that those who are disabled or who become disabled have income security: that they are not denied the means to live decently because of disabilities which restrict their earning potential.

This book provides a systematic analysis of a wide array of labour market and social protection programmes aimed at people with disabilities. Analysing the relationship between policies and outcomes across twenty OECD countries, it gives the reader a better understanding of the dilemmas of disability policy and of successful policy elements or packages. The report concludes that a promising new disability policy approach should move closer to the philosophy of unemployment programmes by:

- emphasising activation;
- promoting tailored early intervention;
- removing disincentives to work;
-introducing a culture of mutual obligations;  - and, involving employers.

It finds that many countries’ policies already include some elements which are important components in such a new approach.

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development; January 2003
222 pages; ISBN 9789264158245
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Title: Transforming Disability into Ability
Author: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development