Social Policy

Natalie Gayle ID 13439
BTEC HND                         Health and Social Care                                 HNHS 107                               Social Policy                       Task 4                                               Assessor: Barabara Ocello    


The definition of disability is highly contentious for several reasons. First, it is only in the past century that the term “disability” has been used to refer to a distinct class of people. Historically, “disability” has been used either as a synonym for “inability” or as a reference to legally imposed limitations on rights and powers. Second, many different characteristics are considered disabilities. Paraplegia, deafness, blindness, diabetes, autism, epilepsy, depression, and HIV have all been classified as “disabilities.” The term covers such diverse conditions as the congenital absence or adventitious loss of a limb or a sensory function; progressive neurological conditions like multiple sclerosis; chronic diseases like arteriosclerosis; the inability or limited ability to perform such cognitive functions as remembering faces or calculating sums; and psychiatric disorders like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
Disability and social policy: separate paths?
In the immediate post-1945 years, state policy on disability largely comprised specialised, segregated institutions, such as ‘special education’ schools, long-stay asylums and hospitals, and diverse residential accommodation (Humphries and Gordon 1992). The increase in the number of disabled people following the 1939-1945 War, and a heightened social obligation to ‘do something’ for them, triggered specific policy responses to address the problems facing disabled people. These included the Disabled Persons (Employment) Act 1944, as well as provisions within the Education Act 1944, plus the National Health Service Act 1946, and the 1948 National Assistance Act.
The Disabled Persons...