1st Edition

Young Disabled People Aspirations, Choices and Constraints

By Sonali Shah Copyright 2008
    132 Pages
    by Routledge

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    Recent policies and government initiatives in many Western countries have strengthened the expectation that young disabled people have the right to be involved in decisions affecting their futures. Many of the choices that are currently taken out of young disabled people’s hands, including those relating to education and future employment, are now being viewed as an opportunity to encourage participation in the decision making process. Sonali Shah uses a comparative study of young disabled students within mainstream and special education to determine the influence these recent policies will have on the realization of their long term goals. Young Disabled People: Aspirations, Choices and Constraints will be essential reading for academics in the fields of education, disability studies and employment policy. It will also be valuable to policy makers and teaching and careers professionals.

    Contents: Introduction, background and policy; Career developments and choices of young people; Young people's aspirations: what are they and why?; Choices and opportunities in mainstream and special education; How families shape the choices of young disabled people; Conclusion: discussion and young people's ideas for change; Bibliography; Index.


    Sonali Shah is Nuffield Research Fellow at the Centre for Disability Studies, University of Leeds, UK. She is the author of Career Success of Disabled High-Flyers (2005) and of numerous journal articles on disability, education and work.

    '[Sonali Shah] Carefully engages with the accounts of disabled young people, as they negotiate their lives and plan for the future, at a crucial time in UK and European disability policy on education and employment. Shah provides a crafted disability studies analysis, drawing on resources from social policy, sociology, education and social psychology, providing invaluable insights for theory, policy and practice.' Dan Goodley, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK 'There's a good and very important central point: young disabled people continue to face important structural and attitudinal barriers in relation to how they are allowed to imagine their future selves and how they can go beyond that imagining and take their rightful and equal place alongside non-disabled peers. This book makes a useful contribution to that debate.' Journal of Social Policy