An accumulation of interpretative studies in a range of international contexts has considered gender, race and social class in accounting employment. However, no work has considered accounting firms’ attitudes towards employing disabled people. This omission is surprising given the passing of successive disability rights legislation in the United States since 1918 and the United Kingdom (UK) since 1944 and consequent changes in public expectations regarding equal employment opportunities for disabled people. This paper examines the UK accounting profession's response to changes in disability legislation. Using a survey administered to UK firms and an analysis of the Big Four firms’ 2003 UK annual reviews, we report that firms’ have a minimal understanding of disability, that disability is not a significant component of firms’ personnel policies, that firms lag behind other organizations in their attitudes to disability, and images of disability are wholly absent from firms’ annual reviews. We discuss these findings in the context of prior accounting research which considers gender, race and social class, which is used to develop a research agenda.
- Social model
- Accounting profession