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UBC Theses and Dissertations

A longer journey : an exploration of individuals' with disabilities experiences of employment programs in Vernon, B.C. Hockman, Laura Mary


Researching disability and employment is a daunting task due to the need to explore many societal systems and the historical evolution of policy. This thesis used qualitative description to document the experiences of 12 people with a variety of disabilities with results-based employment programs in Vernon, B.C. To provide a context within which to situate this research, a discussion of the evolution of Canadian Disability Social Policy from the federal to provincial level is provided. This is followed by an overview of disability and identity and the common discourses encountered by people with disabilities on their employment journey. A thematic analysis was used to identity two themes: connection and control. These themes are discussed in relation to their role in defining inclusion. The experiences detailed in this study illustrate the broad impact of results-based employment programs within the diverse contexts of the participants' lives, offering insights into the challenges these individuals face. The relevance of such insights should not be underestimated as they not only contribute to our understanding of an individual's experiences but suggest ways in which employment initiatives for people with disabilities might be improved.

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