This research examines workplace issues affecting people with physical disabilities. Specifically, this research is concerned with those issues affecting the employment of people who use wheelchairs. The results of this examination are presented in discussions related to social policy, and equal opportunity. These discussions cover, in addition to the indicated topics, considerations of employment discrimination (including compensation), legal aspects of the issues, and environmental frameworks.
EQUAL OPPORTUNITY AND PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES
Equal opportunity and fair employment practices legislation has been enacted and enforced (with varying degrees of vigor, depending upon the philosophical stance of the administration in power) since the early 1960s. Unfortunately, people with disabilities have not shared in the benefits from this legislation and its enforcement to the extent enjoyed by other societal groups.
The concept of equal opportunity often appears to defy precise definitiondefinitions tend to change with the per spective of the protagonist. Klappholz (1989, 247) said that most assessments that equality of opportunity is absent are
1 2actually saying that "certain individuals, or groups, do not have . . . certain opportunities" which are available to other individuals and groups. This line of reasoning is usually extended to the idea that such conditions are "unfair and ought to be remedied" (Klappholz, 1989, 247).
Equal opportunity is advocated for two reasons. First, equal opportunity promotes distributive justicethe unfairness of an existing situation would be remedied. Second, equal opportunity is promoted on the grounds that it promotes economic efficiency (Klappholtz, 1989). If this latter contention were widely accepted in society, it is likely that instances of employment discrimination would drop dramatically. Unfortunately, this contention is not universally accepted by eith...