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Open AccessArticle

The Duplicity of Choice and Empowerment: Disability Rights Diluted in Australia’s Policies on Assistive Technology

School of Health and Wellbeing, The University of Southern Queensland, Ipswich, QLD 4305, Australia
Societies 2019, 9(2), 39; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc9020039
Received: 25 March 2019 / Revised: 6 May 2019 / Accepted: 14 May 2019 / Published: 22 May 2019
The combination of choice as a contested concept and its increasing adoption as a policy principle necessitates a critical analysis of its interpretation within Australia’s reforms to disability services. While choice may appear to be an abstract and flexible principle in policy, its operationalization in practice tends to come with conditions. This paper investigates the interpretation of choice in the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), via an interpretive policy analysis of assistive technology (AT) provision. Analysis of policy artefacts reveals a diminishing influence of disability rights in favor of an economic discourse, and contradictory assumptions about choice in the implementation of legislation. The language of choice and empowerment masks the relegation of the presumption of capacity to instead perpetuate professional power in determining access to resources by people with disability. View Full-Text
Keywords: assistive technology; choice; capacity; national disability insurance scheme; interpretive policy analysis assistive technology; choice; capacity; national disability insurance scheme; interpretive policy analysis
MDPI and ACS Style

Steel, E.J. The Duplicity of Choice and Empowerment: Disability Rights Diluted in Australia’s Policies on Assistive Technology. Societies 2019, 9, 39.

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