Disability Unemployment in the UK
: The Lived Experience of Disabling Barriers to Inclusion

  • Jason Olsen

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


This study engages with the lived experiences of disabled people to investigate the barriers disabled people face in their pursuit of employment. These voices were gathered through a qualitative focus group, followed by twenty semi-structured interviews. They provide in-depth information on the barriers disabled people confront and how they impact employment efforts and lives.

Findings from this research identify six overarching themes currently impacting
disabled people’s employment efforts. These include: stigma; employers’ attitudes to reasonable adjustments; the role of health in employment; resources and benefits; and politics, charities, and power. The investigation and expansion on these themes occur throughout this thesis and its findings contributes to a better understanding of what it means to be a disabled person seeking employment in the UK and the complexities that surround it.
Date of AwardSept 2020
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorGoretti Horgan (Supervisor), Markus Ketola (Supervisor) & Ann-Marie Gray (Supervisor)


  • Disability
  • Employment
  • Stigma
  • Reasonable adjustments
  • Employer
  • Benefits
  • Disabled people
  • Qualitative
  • Grounded theory

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