Social policy aims to achieve a few social and economic objectives. The aim of international social policy is to guarantee the rights of the people with disabilities. Such a social policy should find the methods of improving the rights of the people with disabilities as they suffer from physical and other weaknesses. The study of international social policy is important in order to understand the ways in which the international developments affect the policies and programs of the individual countries. Social policy should attempt to improve the political, economic and social rights of the individuals in the society. It shows the attitude of the government and social groups towards the problems of the various individuals including the disabled communities. Social policy includes the introduction of various programs in order to protect the rights and liberties of the individuals. Such programs can be evaluated by analyzing the positive and negative outcomes and in the form of the data analysis and charts and tables. This allows the policy makers to identify the problems in their social policies and rectify their mistakes. (Social Policy)
Social policies are the statements of goals and objectives created by the citizens or the government in order to create guidelines to implement social programs with a view to improve the health and well being of the individuals. In the present context, it is necessary to evolve social policy in order to provide justice to the disabled people. This community needs support of other citizens in the society as they may suffer different categories of disability. By evolving social policy it is possible to guarantee the humanitarian treatment of the disabled people. The earlier experiences of maltreatment of disabled people have compelled the scholars to contemplate the introduction of various models of social policy. The creation of international social policy standardizes the nature of treatment given to the disabled people in different societies. An important example of international social policy is the United Nations Declaration regarding the protection of the children who in some cases can be bracketed under the disabled communities. It is important that social policy makers understand the real problems being faced by the disabled communities. Such social policies have been directed towards the protection of elderly people and the aboriginals in the countries such as the USA and Canada. (Blakemore 2003)
Finding the method of linking between policy models and the real social situation is the main problem being faced by the policy makers. While framing social policy, it is important to identify the ideal social policy model. The scholars have used various social policy models such as: rational model, incrementalism, mixed scanning, and value criteria model. Each model comprises various limitations and the social policy makers need to remember limitations of these various models while framing the social policy. However, the first three models are the common successful models used by the policy makers. Recently, there has been the emergence of another model which is borrowed from garbage can model which combines both problem and solutions of the social policy.(Wharf and McKenzie 1998, p. 25)
The social policy makers can choose any particular model depending on the objectives of the social policy. Rational model interprets the available data and finds a particular solution for a social problem. However, this approach has been criticized because it does not provide many alternative solutions to the problem. Incrementalism gives solutions to the problems of disabled people within the limitations of the existing power structure.(Wharf and McKenzie 1998, p. 26) This has been considered as a demerit of this model. Mixed scanning approach is the combination of the principles found in rational approach and incrementalism. The value criteria model consists of universal value criteria which can be considered as the general value principles such as equity and justice. With the help of the garbage can model, it is possible to solve the public problems which affect large number of people. In this context, the problems of people with disability can be considered as public problem because their problems may affect large number of people in different parts of the world. (Wharf and McKenzie 1998, p. 37) Among these different models, mixed scanning approach and garbage can model are better suited to frame international social policy.
Social policy can be considered as an academic discipline which involves the contribution of different scholars who specialize in: social work, sociology, economics, political science, public administration, and women’s studies. Their contribution leads to the results in finding proper solutions to the problems being faced by the people with disabilities. The scholars have used the various approaches in order to find solution to these problems. These approaches include: liberal, conservative, socialist, feminist, and anti racist opinions. These different approaches provide different perspectives regarding a particular social problem. Their study provides grater options to the social policy maker to solve the problems of the target groups. It is important to understand the opinion of the different scholars to find different solutions to the problems of the people with disability. (Armitage 1996)
It is important to change the attitude of the members of the society towards the disabled people. There are stereotype impressions of the disabled community which has affected the social status of such people. This negative attitude has amounted to social oppression of the disabled people in the society. It is important to show greater sympathy and understanding of the problems of the people with disabilities. (Biklen and Bogdan 1997)
In the recent years, there has been the emergence of globalization which has affected the people with disability. In this context, it is essential to introduce an international social policy by using the above mentioned approaches and models. It is found that the globalization products such as NAFTA have reduced the standard of living of the people in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. This has created new problems for the people with disabilities. It is important to alleviate the grievances of the poor people, women, children and other people with disabilities who have been severally affected by the process of globalization. It is has been pointed by the United Nations Report that with proper policy initiative it is possible to reduce the gap between rich and the poor. Globalization also contributed to the emergence of transnational network belonging to the communities who are negatively affected by the globalization process. (Wilson and Whitmore 2000)
The rehabilitation personnel play an important role in reducing the grievances of the people with disability. This implies that the rehabilitation personnel need to possess proper understanding of the problems of the disabled people. However, most of the rehabilitation personnel have exhibited negative attitude towards the disabled people. Recent studies have showed that disabled people have been subject to discrimination due to the prevailing social and political structure. The disabled people have recorded their experiences of discrimination in terms of employment and other opportunities. It is necessary to remove these discriminations in order to improve the confidence of the disabled people. The medical and other professionals need to provide proper understanding of the problems of the disabled people so that the general public would not oppress such categories of population. (Neufeldt1999)
The problem of rehabilitation personnel has been multiplied due to the emergence of cultural diversity in a given society. For example, Canada is known for the prevalence of multiculturalism where one can notice the existence of cultural diversity. In such a society, it is not easy to understand the cultural differences between the disabled people belonging to different communities. The Canadian government has implemented legislations to protect the interest of the disabled people. Attempts should be made to provide equal opportunities to both disabled and non-disabled people to improve their standard of living. (Graham, Swift, and Delaney 2003)
Human rights approach is another important method of improving the conditions of the physically and mentally disabled people in different parts of the world. This has resulted in the emergence of consensus among the human rights activists regarding the importance of assuring human rights to the disabled people. However, this is not a very simple task as it involves the role of the social policy makers in different parts of the world. It is suggested that political and legal approach can guarantee the human rights because this approach recognizes the existence of disabled people in all the countries. This approach does not consider the disabled people as the minority group within a country. Disabled groups are found in all parts of the world and they share the common problems. In this context, it is necessary to evolve an international social policy to reduce the grievances of the disabled communities. (Bickenbach n.d.)
The Canadian government has provided for the protection of the human rights of the disabled people. The government has assured the human rights such as right to justice and equality of opportunity. (Glossary of Terms)
The above details show that international social policy is necessary in order to pursue uniform social policy with a view to redress the grievances of the disabled people in different parts of the world. The policy makers need to find proper approaches and models in order to protect the human rights of the disabled people. There is need to remove the negative image of the people with disability. The international organizations such as the UNO need to encourage the discussion between the disabled people belonging to different nations. Such discussions can help the governments in the different countries to implement legislations in order to protect the interest of the people with disabilities. There is also need for the proper evaluation of the social policies so the limitations of such social policies could be removed and the disabled people can be provided justice and equality of opportunity. It is interesting to note that due to globalization process, there has emerged better understanding between the disabled communities belonging to different regions of the world as they have realized that they need to protest their oppression and exploitation. This has increased the responsibility of the international community to guarantee justice and equality to the people with disabilities.