The Disability–Employability Divide: Bottlenecks to Equal Opportunity

20 Pages Posted: 2 Aug 2014 Last revised: 12 Dec 2018

See all articles by Bradley A. Areheart

Bradley A. Areheart

University of Tennessee College of Law

Michael Ashley Stein

Visiting Professor, Harvard Law School; University of Pretoria Faculty of Law, Centre for Human Rights

Date Written: September 1, 2014

Abstract

Joseph Fishkin’s new book, Bottlenecks, reinvigorates the concept of equal opportunity by simultaneously engaging with its complications and attempting to simplify its ambitions. Fishkin describes bottlenecks as narrow spaces in the opportunity structure through which people must pass if they hope to reach a range of opportunities on the other side. A significant component of the American opportunity structure that Bottlenecks leaves largely unexplored, however, relates to people with disabilities. This Review applies Fishkin’s theory to explore how disability law creates and perpetuates bottlenecks that keep people with disabilities from achieving a greater degree of human flourishing. In particular, disability policy’s opportunity structure features a conceptual disability–employability divide that ultimately prevents people with disabilities from reaching a wider array of opportunities. Fishkin’s book, in concert with this Review, introduces new and inventive ways of reimagining and implementing structural solutions to these bottlenecks.

Keywords: equal opportunity, disability, benefits, employment, bottlenecks, administrative law, welfare, social security disability insurance, social security income, social security administration, work-first initiatives

JEL Classification: A12, A14, D60, D61, D62, D63, H61, H62, J30, J31, J38, J70, J71, J78, K31, K39

Suggested Citation

Areheart, Bradley A. and Stein, Michael Ashley, The Disability–Employability Divide: Bottlenecks to Equal Opportunity (September 1, 2014). 113 Michigan Law Review 877 (2015); University of Tennessee Legal Studies Research Paper No. 246. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2474777

Bradley A. Areheart (Contact Author)

University of Tennessee College of Law ( email )

1505 West Cumberland Avenue
Knoxville, TN 37996
United States

Michael Ashley Stein

Visiting Professor, Harvard Law School ( email )

1585 Massachussetts Avenue
Austin Hall 305
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-495-1726 (Phone)

University of Pretoria Faculty of Law, Centre for Human Rights ( email )

Private Bag X20
Hatfield 0028
Pretoria
South Africa

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