Centre for Disability Studies

Centre for Disability Studies

The Scope of Reasonable Adjustment as a Discriminatory Dilemma: A Survey of British and Swedish Disability Discrimination Legislation in Comparative Perspective

This research was funded by a British Academy Visiting Fellowship award, conducted at Leeds by Dr Richard Sahlin (Stockholm University, Sweden) and supervised by Anna Lawson and Dagmar Shiek (Law) and Mark Priestley (Sociology and Social Policy).

Summary

The purpose of the fellowship was to study the concept of ‘reasonable adjustment’ in UK disability law and policy, and to compare this with related concepts in Swedish law. This will contribute to a larger evaluation of the Swedish case to be published as a monograph (in Swedish). Both Sweden and Great Britain are legally obliged to implement the EU framework Directive which requires all member states to adapt national discrimination legislation so that equal employment opportunities will be improved for disabled people. The timing of the visit in 2007 coincided with implementation of new legal duties on public authorities introduced in Britain in December 2006. Also the development of the European Higher Education Area raises specific questions about equality and mobility for disabled students and academics from different European countries. For this reason the research focused on the concept of reasonable adjustment in public bodies (and specifically in Universities).

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