Examining Disability and Work in Small Island Developing States
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Within the Caribbean region, disabilities are largely understood from the perspective of the medical model, where physical or mental impairments differentiate disabled, from non-disabled persons. However, when considered from the perspective of the social model, many societal attitudes, norms and structures create barriers to the success of persons with disabilities. Whilst this may be less apparent to persons without disabilities or otherwise not associated with this community, these barriers are, in effect, hidden inequalities. In the currently available Caribbean statistics in relation to the youth demographic, there is a trend of a greater number of boys than girls with disabilities, whilst for persons over 60, more elderly women than men have recorded disabilities, which specifically related to lifestyle choices and chronic diseases. This chapter uses secondary research to explore and assess the current state of employment inclusion and exclusion of persons with disabilities from paid employment in the islands of the English-speaking Commonwealth Caribbean. The chapter discusses the challenges faced by persons with disabilities within the region and the role which employers, social organisations and the legislature play vis-à-vis the current status of persons with disabilities. It also examines the heterogeneity of persons with disabilities and the hidden inequalities which currently exist in relation to this group.
KeywordsDisability Social exclusion Organisational barriers Caribbean region
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