Shane Clifton
Scandinavian Journal of Disability Research, 16.4 (July 2013): 377-390.
Publication year: 2013

Work, which plays such a prominent part in the narrative of human life, is central to a
person’s happiness (or unhappiness). Because this is so, the fact that spinal-cord injury (SCI)
tends to take a person out of the workforce (sometimes permanently) is recognised as a
central part of post-injury loss. This paper draws on the insights of the virtue tradition and
the discipline of positive psychology, to explore the notion of happiness (well-being) and its
relationship to the vocations of people with SCI. In particular, it describes the virtues that
can contribute to a person’s capacity to obtain and sustain employment. This includes virtues
relating to dependency and independency, as well as the role of hope, optimism and the like.
It concludes with a brief discussion of the contribution that people with SCI can make to the
culture of the workplace.

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