Introduction

This research aimed to understand how social care assessments of disabled people are carried out, and seek to find ways to improve those practices. While the personalisation agenda in particular has driven new forms of self-assessment and outcomes-focused assessments, eligibility assessments can still be experienced as difficult, since they are the gateway to limited pubic resources such as welfare benefits or social care funding. In order to gain legitimate access to some sources of income, disabled people therefore have to portray themselves as needy, in very specific personal ways, with consequent negative effects on self-esteem.

This study carried out narrative research with disabled people to develop more detailed understanding of the experience of assessments in social care and in other sectors, such as employment, benefits, and therapies. Qualitative interviews with social care assessors in two areas were carried out. Training workshops were offered to assessors and disabled people, based on scenarios and role-plays, to provide the basis for a CA (conversation analysis) of the interactional strategies which are effective and equitable from the point of view of disabled people and the practitioners themselves.