By Brooke Ellison
There is a profound need to deconstruct and actively reconstruct the interpretation of disability as it is currently understood.
The current framing of disability as inability — whether an inability to be employed or otherwise — has utterly failed not only people with disabilities, but also the communities in which they live.
This perception of disability is a relic of attitudinal and policy structures put into place by people who do not live with disability themselves: people who may have been ignorant to the virtues that living with disability engenders.
Current calls for attention to a disability bioethics or a disability epistemology have heralded not only highlighting, but also actively promoting, the qualities, leadership skills, and valuable character traits associated with surviving and thriving in a world fundamentally not set up for one’s own needs.
Before any meaningful movement can be made when it comes to the employment of people with disabilities — whether in the form of workplace accommodations, flexible work settings, recruitment practices, or limitations on earnings — the underlying assumption about the value of their presence in the workforce needs to change.