Disability and work inequalities

Katherine Sang, Maria de los Angeles Zapata Rodriguez, Jennifer Remnant

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Employment is a key site where disabled people experience exclusion and discrimination, with many disabled people reporting under-employment (working below their skills and qualifications levels) and exclusion from employment, subsequently facing poverty, which has worsened as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Although the United Nations (2007) argues that employment outcomes are comparatively better for disabled people in ‘developed’ economies, employment rates are still low. This chapter establishes the theoretical foundations of disability research and their usefulness for understanding the employment experiences of disabled people. We begin by setting out how disability is conceptualised, drawing on models including the medical model, social model and social relational models. The chapter then synthesises the extant literature on disability and employment, drawing on the international literature to establish prevalent trends regarding the employment of disabled people and strategies for disability inclusion. The chapter concludes by proposing a strategy for advancing disability inclusion in employment.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationResearch Handbook on Inequalities and Work
EditorsCynthia Forson, Geraldine Healy, Mustafa Ozturk, Ahu Tatli
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781800886605
ISBN (Print)9781800886599
Publication statusPublished - 12 Mar 2024


  • Disability
  • Employment
  • Models of disability


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