Disability and Employment

The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities states that persons with disabilities have the same right to work as everyone else. Discrimination on the basis of disability is prohibited, and the employment of persons with disabilities must be advanced. Adequate modifications that support the work of persons with disabilities must be made to work environments.

Working is strongly connected to financial income, which also applies to persons with disabilities. Social security is extremely insufficient in many developing countries.Pensions and social security are so small that persons with disabilities are often totally financially dependent on their family. If the family does not support the person with a disability, she is in a great danger to, for instance, end up begging on the street.

Persons with disabilities face many barriers to employment because of prejudice. In developing countries, persons with disabilities often struggle to find employment because of poor education history. Working environments are rarely accessible. Persons with disabilities living in developing countries are more likely to find employment in rural areas than in cities. There is very little formal employment available in cities, and competition for these positions is tough.

Microcredits, educating persons with disabilities, and working to change employer attitudes have an essential role in supporting employment opportunities for persons with disabilities.

Photo: Car wash shop owned by an Ethiopian with a disability. He was able to start the business with funding from Abilis Foundation. Photo: Juha Valta