There has been a significant improvement in the socio-economic experiences of people living with disabilities in the last two decades. The government policies on people with disabilities have also improved. Individuals working in decision making bodies have influenced the shift in policies that affect people who have disabilities. People in the decision making bodies have made maneuvers across the policy agenda to influence policies. This has led to changes in policies that disadvantage disable people. The society has adjusted its language to suit the prevailing discourse on disability. There has been a significant change in the social model of disability. Various predominant concepts of disability that have greatly influenced how disabled people receive services include ‘independent living,’ ‘co-production,’ and ‘user involvement.’ These ensure that people who have disabilities live a fulfilling independent life. In the past, people who had disabilities used to rely on family members to perform even simple tasks. However, in the contemporary world, people with disabilities can live independently. This reduces the burden they place or their family members. Disabled people are also involved in the formulation of various policies that target them. Involving them increased the efficiency of the policies. This is due to the fact that disabled people can clearly articulate the challenges they faces. This helps policy makers to make more policies that are effective. In addition, removal of policies that disadvantage disabled people has enabled them to engage in various economic activities. This has increased their input on the economy. They do not simply do not rely on handouts from the government (Sowers & Colby, 2008).
The Americans with Disability Act (ADA) is the major piece of legislation that led to fundamental changes in how people with disabilities receive services. This piece of legislation has helped in improving the lives of people with disabilities. It has increased the access of disabled consumers to good and services from businesses and state and local governments. It has made people accept the use of service animals within their business premises. It has also led to increased availability of relatively cheap assistive technology for people with various forms of disability. This has increased community participation of people with communication impairment. It has enabled people with mobility impairments have increased access to transportation and government agencies that provide them with various services. Disabled employees also have increased access to accommodation. In addition, they are less likely to be fired by their employers due to disability (Scherer, 2011).
Despite the above factors, many parties do not clearly understand the provisions of ADA. Employment provision is one of the least understood provisions. According to ADA, employers should provide equal opportunities to people with disabilities. In addition, employers should have standards that prohibit against people due to their disability. However, disability should not have adverse effect on the ability of people to perform basic roles in their employment. This ensures that organizations do not jeopardize their operations in order to simply ensure that they provide people with disability equal employment opportunity. Other countries such as the U.K. also have various legislations that prohibit discrimination against people on the basis of their disability. This has helped in improving the welfare of people with disabilities by reducing barriers to work (Sowers & Colby, 2008).
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