Disability in the UK: Measuring Equality by Purdam – Article Example

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The paper "Disability in the UK: Measuring Equality by Purdam" is a marvelous example of an article review on social science.   Disabled people, key surveys, accessibility, opportunities, discrimination, non- work-limiting disabilities, medical conditions, sensory disabilities, learning disabilities, policy development, survey data, minority ethnic populations  Main themes and ideas  This paper reviews the evidence in the data of surveys conducted on the lives of disabled people in the United Kingdom. To begin with, the authors offer a summarised look at different censuses and surveys on disability issues in the United Kingdom that have been conducted in the recent past (Purdam et al.

2008, p. 54). The results vary in terms of the methodologies employed, the criteria used to define disability and the general implications of living with disability in the United Kingdom. For instance, the Cohort Study of 1970, apart from being a valuable source of information about the circumstances of disabled teenagers in the United Kingdom, fails to cover all the overall aspects of disability in the country. In the same way, the Family Resources Survey, apart from providing valuable information about the spending power of elderly people living with a disability, failed to capture vital data on the causes, different types and levels of disability in the elderly population.

The authors argue that similar challenges were encountered in the Health Survey of England which, apart from giving coverage to a wide range of issues on health, fitness, and mobility, fails to take into account how disability affects the lives of people in terms of the barriers that are encountered (Purdam et al. 2008, p. 55).   The second major idea that the authors examine in this paper regards key issues on equality in the lives of disabled people in the United Kingdom.

From the surveys, several key issues emerge. One important thing to note from the conclusions of the authors is that there is a wide variation regarding the experiences of people living with a disability when it comes to issues to do with education, housing, employment, and general healthcare. For instance, many of the surveys indicate that approximately 30% of people living with disabilities in the United Kingdom had been victims of crime or suffered physical abuse as a result of their conditions (Purdam et al.

2008, p. 60). However, it is suggested that the British Crime Survey provides a good source of information to instances of people living with disabilities being victimized as a result of their condition. On the other hand, the authors found out that people living with disabilities in the United Kingdom still experience a high level of inequality when it comes to issues with housing and health. For instance, the majority of disabled people do not have a choice as regards where they should stay, level of independence and privacy in their lives.

Similarly, there is wide inequality for disabled people with regard to health issues. This is demonstrated by the fact that many disabled individuals living with disabilities fail to take preventive health care services (Purdam et al. 2008, p. 59). This contributes to the high number of deaths of disabled people resulting from preventive diseases and conditions. Concerning economic circumstances, the authors state that the disabled population in the United Kingdom still faces a high level of inequality. With high medical and other extra expenses, disabled people find themselves living in financial debt and consequently, in poverty.

In the same way, individuals living in low social and economic status in a society run a higher risk of falling into permanent disability in the event of mental or physical illness. Also, disabled people face a high level of inequality with regard to education, training, and employment in the United Kingdom. Because of discrimination in mainstream educational institutions, over 28% of people living with disabilities in the United Kingdom fail to attain proper educational certificates (Purdam et al.

2008, p. 57). The authors also indicate that because of discrimination in the mainstream educational institutions, very few disabled people end up getting into formal employment. With this, the majority of disabled people find themselves in part-time and informal employment. It is also stated that the rate of unemployment among the disabled population is higher than that for the rest of the population in the United Kingdom. Commentary  Identify 4 elements from the reading that you think would benefit from further research on your part.   There is a need to carry out a comprehensive survey of the general socio-economic circumstances of disabled individuals in the United Kingdom (Purdam et al.

2008, p. 61). Such information would prove valuable in providing accurate information about the lives of disabled individuals across all population groups in the United Kingdom. There is also a need to re-evaluate the general definition of disability. Although current research is guided by categorizing disability based on medical conditions, there is a need to re-examine the general criteria that determine who qualifies to be regarded as being disabled. Such an approach would provide policymakers with accurate, reliable and sufficient data on the state and level of individuals living with disability who, according to the current criteria, are not regarded as disabled (Purdam et al.

2008, p. 53).   Further research will enhance knowledge on the impact of different factors on the lives of disabled people belonging to minority ethnic groups. Such groups are made up of people of African, Jewish or Chinese descent who are living in the United Kingdom (Purdam et al. 2008, p. 61). By developing comprehensive information on how different factors such as gender, ethnicity, education and working conditions bear an impact on the lives of people living with disabilities, the nature of the life of different groups of disabled people from minority ethnic populations living in the United Kingdom would be enhanced. Lastly, further research will enhance knowledge about the changes that occur in people’ s lives when they become disabled.

By extending the use of longitudinal survey methodology to cover the changes in circumstances in different population groups, accurate knowledge about changes in circumstances will be generated (Purdam et al.

2008, p. 62).   Questions that arise from the text The first question concerns the relationship between negative stereotyping and discrimination of minority groups. Although research has found a positive correlation between the two with regard to how medical practitioners treat members from minority populations, the question remains on the extent to which this contributes to inequality issues for people living with a disability.   Another key question regards the relationship between poverty and disability. Although research has indicated that people living in poverty are likely to find themselves in the disability bracket, a question remains on the extent to which disability itself can be the sole cause of poverty.


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