The prospects for universal disability law and social policy
Keywords:universal design, disability policy, disability law, minority group approach, welfare
AbstractThe worldwide disarray of disability social policy and law requires a new foundation to make it coherent and to remedy persistent contradictions, disincentives and other policy anomalies. In this paper we clarify and expand Irving Zola’s call for ‘universalized disability policy’ and develop his insight by drawing upon the well-known principles of Universal Design (UD), or Design for All, in architecture, product development and city planning to formulate analogous principles of universally designed disability social policy and law. Our objective is to show, by means of two examples - one in health care delivery and the other in welfare or social support policy - that ‘universalized’ policy for and on behalf of persons with disabilities is feasible. We find that there are some, albeit limited, examples of universalizing policy in these areas and suggests ways in which the full range of UD principles might be able to be implemented in these two policy areas. What we propose is merely a proof of concept rather than a complete proposal to restructure disability law and policy - which likely not be feasible, given the range of social and economic conditions of countries around the globe. We conclude with some tentative suggestions for areas of empirical research that would further the overall agenda of a universal disability social policy.
How to Cite
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share or adapt the work with an acknowledgment of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal. Use of the work for commercial purposes are not allowed.
- Authors are able to publish the journal's published version of the work in other media (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), as far as they inform the Journal of Accessibility and Design for All of that fact. When publishing their work in other sources, authors must mention the name of the Journal of Accessibility and Design for All, its ISSN, the number and issue in which the article was published and a link to the main page of the Journal of Accessibility and Design for All. Optionally, they can also include a link to the article published in the Journal of Accessibility and Design for All.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website), as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work.