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Title: What social model? : disabled students' experience of work-related learning and placements
Author: Cunnah, Wendy
ISNI:       0000 0004 2741 5054
Awarding Body: Sheffield Hallam University
Current Institution: Sheffield Hallam University
Date of Award: 2012
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This study explores the impact of the social model of disability on the inclusion of disabled students in higher education and employment contexts. It considers the experiences of disabled students on work-based placements as part of their undergraduate degree in a university setting. It analyses and evaluates the complex interactions that take place as students negotiate these settings. The research arose out of my engagement with disabled students who appeared less included in education and employment than their non-disabled peers, despite the impact of the social model on inclusion and employment policy. I used a case study model in which focus groups and interviews were conducted with sixteen disabled students, four academic tutors, one placement administrator and four placement supervisors over five years between 2006 and 2010. Students were interviewed on more than one occasion over the three years of their study in order to include longitudinal data. Findings suggested that although the social model was evident in the philosophy behind current policies it was not always understood and applied in all contexts by all stakeholders and consequently students had to negotiate a range of diverse experiences when participating in the work-related curriculum in higher education. These experiences were compounded by practical tensions around standards, resources and training which resulted in them having fractured experiences of social model practice. The study discusses the extent to which disabled students, especially those with behaviour related impairment labels, are subject to discriminatory practice and exclusion in university and more particularly in employment settings and how this contributes to an employment disadvantage compared with their non-disabled peers. To this ends the study highlights the importance of strengthening the knowledge and application of the social model in higher education and employment settings.
Supervisor: Lawrence, Elizabeth ; Dunn, Karen Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available