DRF News

Reminder: DRF Seminar #1 – Monday, 11th Nov 2013: 10am-12pm (at SHU)

The ‘DRF Seminar Schedule 2013-2014’ kicks off next Monday with the following line-up…


1. Monday, 11th November 2013: 10am-12pm – Arundel 10111 (SHU)


Slot 1: Ghasem Norouzi (Bu-Ali Sina University, Hamedan, Iran, & Visiting Research Fellow at University of Sheffield, UK): How do supported employment providers promote ‘meaningful work’ opportunities for people with learning difficulties?

This paper reports a study about ‘How do supported employment providers promote ‘meaningful work’ opportunities for people with learning difficulties?’ by providing a thematic analysis of the views and experiences of the eight supported employment providers (SEPs) in city in the North of England (Northtown). An eclectic approach, using qualitative methods (narratives inquiry, ethnography, interview, and observation) was adopted. The findings argue that ‘meaningful work’ meant more than just ‘paid employment’. It must include earning money, increasing self-esteem, self-respect, freedom, empowerment, choice on the work, enjoyment and satisfaction of people with learning difficulties with their lives. This findings show that generally, the SEPs through supported employment agencies had offered a lot of services to the employers and employees with learning difficulties. They were successful in increasing the employers’ awareness of the ability of people with learning difficulties; finding jobs and workplaces for people with learning difficulties; and supporting their employers in solving problems inside and outside of work. However, the SEPs were not successful in enabling people to gain ‘meaningful work’ in mainstream employment. The results of this study indicate various structural and individual barriers for people with learning difficulties to obtain ‘meaningful work’. Structural barriers include negative attitudes of employers, parents, carers, and service providers; inflexibility of the benefit system; unenforced legislation; difficulties in using public transport, and; a lack of long-term employment service support. The findings also revealed some major individual barriers including: unwillingness to work, a lack of confidence, having difficulty in communication with managers, colleagues and customers at work, a lack of qualifications, and limited social skills. This study suggested some ways of overcoming structural barriers including: changing the negative attitudes of employers, parents, carers and service providers towards people with learning difficulties. It also highlighted some ways of overcoming individual barriers included increasing self-confidence and providing suitable training for people with learning difficulties.


Slot 2: John Rees (Independent Scholar, UK): History, Memory: Eugenics and the Holocaust, Fighting the Concept of the Perfect Neo-Liberal Human being today


Venue: This seminar will be held in the Arundel Building, 122 Charles Street, City Campus, Sheffield Hallam University, S1 1WB. For a map of City Campus click here.

For more info on upcoming DRF events, click here.

…and don’t forget, registration and abstract submissions are now open for Normalcy 2014.

DRF News

EVENT: IMAGINE Research Café on Work, Incapacity and Resilience (17th May 2013, Sheffield, UK)

[If you are interest in disability research, you may be interested in this…]

Event: IMAGINE Research Café

Date: Friday, 17th May 2013

Time: 1.00pm – 3.00pm

Venue: Room 9016, Cantor Building, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, UK. For a map of City Campus click here.

Slot 1:  Prof Christina Beatty, CRESR and Dr Sionnadh McLean, CHSCR

Christina Beatty leads the Data Analysis and Policy Team at the Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research.  For the past twenty years Christina has researched issues around hidden unemployment, the location and the growth in numbers claiming incapacity benefits across the country, and the impacts of welfare reform.  Sionnadh McLean is a Reader in Physiotherapy and is based at the Centre for Health and Social Care Research. Prior to joining SHU in 2007 she was a practising clinician for 15 years. Sionnadh’s research interests revolve around improving the effectiveness of exercise prescription, taking into account the biopsychosocial circumstances of individuals.

Their Imagine project looks at addressing the real needs of incapacity claimants.  This project investigates the resilience of individuals and communities in the face of major welfare reform which affects over 2.5m people of working age on out-of-work disability benefits.  The project will gather evidence on the health interventions, experimental initiatives and interventional strategies which offer potential to bolster the resilience of disability claimants to cope with the increased demands of welfare reform to return to work. The research team includes Professor Steve Fothergill and Kirsty Duncan. 

Slot 2: Dr Jon Warren, Durham University

Jon Warren has worked in the Geography department at Durham University since 2009.  Prior to that he worked in the School for Applied Social Sciences. Jon is currently managing a major project which is evaluating an initiative which aims to improve the health of long term incapacity benefit (IB) recipients. The evaluation has been funded by Durham NHS primary care trust.

Jon is interested in the Sociology of Work and the history of work and industry in the North East in particular. His doctoral research explored the working lives and wider narratives of workers involved with the Call Centre Industry in both the North East of England and India.