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Disability Employment: Information & Jobs for Persons with Disabilities

  • Synopsis: Last Updated: 2017-06-03 - Information on disability employment and equal employment opportunities for persons with disabilities

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This Disabled World category on disability employment is intended to provide a convenient entry point for resources on equal employment opportunity and disability, as well as links to resources from other worldwide employment organizations and agencies, including websites for persons with disabilities looking for work, disability job vacancies, and jobs working from home. Our disability employment categories by country can be found in the right hand menu, while general job articles are listed below.

The Disability Discrimination Act makes it unlawful to discriminate against people with disabilities in employment, including recruitment, terms and conditions of employment, and dismissal or termination.

In many developed countries around the world a debate has moved beyond a concern about the cost of maintaining dependent people with a disability to the struggle to find effective ways of ensuring people with a disability can participate in and contribute to society in all aspects of life.

Disability Employment Services Can Provide:

  • Ongoing support in a job if required.
  • Help to prepare for work, including training in specific job skills.
  • Purchase of vocational training and other employment-related assistance.
  • Access to help with workplace modifications, support services, and interpreting in the workplace.
  • Support when initially placed into a job, including on the job training and coworker and employer support.
  • Job search support, such as resume development, training in interview skills, and help in looking for suitable jobs.

U.S. Government Jobs:

As the Nation's largest employer, the U.S. Federal Government has a special responsibility to lead by example in including people with disabilities in the workforce. The U.S. Federal Government is actively recruiting and hiring persons with disabilities. They offer a variety of exciting jobs, competitive salaries, excellent benefits, and opportunities for career advancement. Hiring people with disabilities into Federal jobs is fast and easy. People with disabilities can be appointed to Federal jobs non-competitively through a process called Schedule A. Learn how to be considered for Federal jobs under the noncompetitive process. People with disabilities may also apply for jobs through the traditional or competitive process - Learn more.

Facts and Statistics on Disability Employment:

Claims for disability benefits are surging in industrialized countries - up to 600 percent in some nations - encouraging governments, private companies and unions to search for ways to get disabled people back to work, according to the International Labor Organization (ILO).

Discriminatory practices continue to deny persons with disabilities, as well as workers who become disabled, access to work. Two-thirds of the unemployed respondents with disabilities said they would like to work but could not find jobs.

An estimated 386 million of the world's working-age people have some kind of disability, says the International Labor Organization (ILO). Unemployment among the persons with disabilities is as high as 80 per cent in some countries. Of the some 70 million persons with disabilities in India, only about 100,000 have succeeded in obtaining employment in industry.

A 2004 United States survey found that only 35 per cent of working-age persons with disabilities are in fact working, compared to 78 per cent of those without disabilities. One third of the employers surveyed said that persons with disabilities cannot effectively perform the required job tasks. The second most common reason given for not hiring persons with disabilities was the fear of costly special facilities.

Unions are becoming involved in the return to work through the direct provision of services, and through disability management programs in the workplace, the ILO says. The ILO study also finds that private insurance providers are introducing more flexible arrangements so that workers who become disabled and who attempt a gradual transition to work do not lose their benefits. Companies are looking for ways to reduce costs by introducing disability management programs in the workplace. Thousands of persons with disabilities have been successful as small business owners, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

45 countries have anti-discrimination and other disability-specific laws. Recent changes in national laws to promote the employment of disabled persons have often not been adequate to assist individuals with new types of impairments. This is particularly true for those workers suffering from the "new" occupational diseases, for example those related to stress and repetitive strain injury, and for those who have invisible disabilities, such as mental illness and chronic pain, that do not fall within the scope of legal definitions in some countries.

  • A U.S. survey of employers conducted in 2003 found that the cost of accommodations was only $500 or less; 73 per cent of employers reported that their employees did not require special facilities at all.
  • Companies report that employees with disabilities have better retention rates, reducing the high cost of turnover, says a 2002 U.S. study. Other American surveys reveal that after one year of employment, the retention rate of persons with disabilities is 85 per cent.
  • A 2004 United States survey found that only 35 per cent of working-age people with disabilities are in fact working, compared to 78 per cent of those without disabilities. Two-thirds of the unemployed, disabled respondents said they would like to work but could not find jobs.
  • An estimated 386 million of the world's working-age people are disabled, says the International Labor Organization (ILO). Unemployment among the disabled is as high as 80 per cent in some countries. Often employers assume that persons with disabilities are unable to work.
  • Thousands of people with disabilities have been successful as small business owners, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. The 1990 national census revealed that people with disabilities have a higher rate of self-employment and small business experience (12.2 per cent) than people without disabilities (7.8 per cent).
  • A 2003 study by Rutgers University found that people with physical and mental disabilities continue to be vastly underrepresented in the U.S. workplace. One-third of the employers surveyed said that people with disabilities cannot effectively perform the required job tasks. The second most common reason given for not hiring the disabled was the fear of costly special facilities.
  • Even though persons with disabilities constitute a significant 5 to 6 per cent of India's population, their employment needs remain unmet, says a study by India's National Center for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People, in spite of the "People with Disabilities" Act, which reserves for them 3 per cent of government jobs. Of the some 70 million people with disabilities in India, only about 100,000 have succeeded in obtaining employment in industry.
  • When employees are injured or disabled or become ill on the job, they may be entitled to medical and/or disability-related leave under two federal laws: the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). In addition, state Workers' Compensation laws have leave provisions that may apply. Depending on the situation, one or more of these laws can apply to the same employee.


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