Inclusive Employment

Inclusive employment refers to individuals with disabilities working alongside their peers without disabilities in the competitive labor market (with access to the same benefits and career opportunities).

Inclusive employment ensures that no person is segregated or excluded from quality employment opportunities because of their disability.

Inclusive employment ensures that individuals with disabilities have access to the same work, accommodations, and benefits as their non-disabled peers, with the tools they need to be succeed.

PFP-IDE Fellow Hassan Waddimba and celebrated U.S. disability rights leader Chuck Roberts.

How does inclusive employment benefit people with disabilities?  

  • Individuals with disabilities have the opportunity to be financially independent and develop the same skills as their non-disabled peers.
  • Individuals with disabilities are in high-quality employment environments that suit their needs rather than a limited and exclusive environment that prevents their advancement in a career.
  • Individuals with disabilities are included in society from an early age and are more likely to be accepted and respected as equals.
  • Individuals with disabilities develop a greater number of personal and professional skills, develop friendships and relations with a wider variety of people, and increase their prospects of living successful and independent lives.

Steps to Inclusive Employment According to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

  • Prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability with regard to all matters concerning all forms of employment, including conditions of recruitment, hiring and employment, continuance of employment, career advancement and safe and healthy working conditions;
  • Protect the rights of persons with disabilities, on an equal basis with others, to just and favorable conditions of work, including equal opportunities and equal remuneration for work of equal value, safe and healthy working conditions, including protection from harassment, and the redress of grievances;
  • Ensure that persons with disabilities are able to exercise their labor and trade union rights on an equal basis with others;
  • Enable persons with disabilities to have effective access to general technical and vocational guidance programs, placement services and vocational and continuing training;
  • Promote employment opportunities and career advancement for persons with disabilities in the labor market, as well as assistance in finding, obtaining, maintaining and returning to employment;
  • Promote opportunities for self-employment, entrepreneurship, the development of cooperatives and starting one’s own business;
  • Employ persons with disabilities in the public sector;
  • Promote the employment of persons with disabilities in the private sector through appropriate policies and measures, which may include affirmative action programs, incentives and other measures;
  • Ensure that reasonable accommodation is provided to persons with disabilities in the workplace;
  • Promote the acquisition by persons with disabilities of work experience in the open labor market;
  • Promote vocational and professional rehabilitation, job retention and return-to-work programs for persons with disabilities.

To learn more about inclusive employment in practice, read Humanity and Inclusion’s report ‘Situation of Wage Employment of People with Disabilities: Ten Developing Countries in Focus.’