In autumn 2003 we contracted to undertake a study in two district council areas of ways in which they could meet their Local Public Service Agreement (LPSA) targets in respect of disabled people returning to work. We undertook a literature review of barriers to work, interviewed a number of people involved in working with unemployed people and a number of disabled people in these areas. All the employment organisations we had contact with were working to an individual model of disability and the need to change their orientation became the central recommendation of the first phase of this study. This was rejected by those funding the study. At the end of the first year none of the organisations active in this area was able to identify a single disabled person who had returned to work as a result of their help. We conclude that central government policies are doing little to change the perception of the employment needs of disabled people within local government.