• Sabrina April Ramshart Kahlke
  • Julie Kristine Lausten
4. term, Social Work, Master (Master Programme)
People with disabilities are constrained from participating in many parts of everyday life on equal terms as people without disablements – this reality also applies to the labor market (Høgelund & Kjeldsen 2013; 7). Because of this many people with disabilities rely on the government employment effort to support them with job applications, compensation schemes or full economic support. However, we have learned that many have expressed discontentment with the government employment effort on various social media sites on disability issues. This has raised our concern as people with disabilities rely on the support from the employment effort to a much higher extent than people without disabilities. We therefore raised the question: How do people with impairment experience the government employment effort?

We ask this question based on a normative ideal that relies upon Axel Honneth and his theory on recognition as the foundation of a positive self-relation and apply it as a foundation for success in social work. We find that the ideal of recognition is widely spread throughout the laws of the Danish social policy. We find that it is especially eminent in the formulated purposes of the Danish disability policy which is based on the four principles of equality, compensation, solidarity and sector accountability and entails the right for oneself to define the grounds of the good life, the right to achieve your potential, the right to be compensated for constrains in your body function, and the right to get equal access to public services.

In the dissertation we use these four purposes in the Danish disability policy to form a guideline to identify obstacles for recognition of people with impairments in the government employment effort. Our purpose is, in accordance with Honneth, to contribute to a change in the government employment effort for people with disabilities.

The analysis is built on qualitative interviews with six people who have impairments and examines the informants’ experience with the government employment effort in relations to the four purposes in the principles for the Danish disability policy.

In the first part of the analysis we look at how people with impairment experience their possibilities to define the good life themselves. We do so by examining the possibilities to participate in the planning of the employment effort. We identify that inadequate information
about rights and many replacements amongst social workers in the employment effort creates obstacles for people with impairments in claiming their right to define the good life and thereby creates obstacles for recognition.

In the second part of the analysis we focus on how people with impairments experience their possibilities to achieve their potential. We examine faith in the skills and performance level of people with impairment in the government employment Effort and the possibilities for them being granted compensating services. We find experiences of discrimination and a lack of understanding towards the clients’ resources as well as obstacles in regards to the labor market. Furthermore we find that inadequate information about rights, difficulty in applying and being granted compensating services, grey areas, and the extent of the compensating services creates obstacles for people with impairments in achieving their potential on the labor market.

In the third part of the analysis we analyze how the peer group experience the understanding in society for their obstacles and needs towards the labor market as well as their experience with the economic level of the government dependencies. We identify that people with impairments feel that the structural frame of the government employment effort are filled with suspicion towards their work integrity and that this also goes for the social workers in The Employment Effort. Furthermore we find that the arguments in the public debate about fairness between level of government dependency and work efficiency lead to feelings of unworthiness.

In the fourth and last part of the analysis we examine how people with impairment experience the access to counseling and support in the government employment effort. We identify that feelings of coincidence in the social work and the interpretation of the law leads clients to develop strategies on how to get a good relationship with the social worker, hoping it will affect the outcome of the employment effort. Furthermore we identify that participating in employment effort calls for the need of outside support because the peer group experience that their rights are affected by coincidence and inequality.
Publication date2 Jun 2014
Number of pages106
Publishing institutionAalborg Universitet
ID: 198377861