The ILO is calling for a new roadmap to incorporate people with disabilities into the world of work of the future

People with disabilities need a new roadmap to find a place in the world of work of the future. This is stated in the report presented by the ILO Global Business and Disability Network (GBDN), the ONCE Foundation, and KPMG Spain titled ‘Making the Future of Work Inclusive of People with Disabilities’. The paper prepared within the framework of the Disability Hub Europe Initiative refers to the need to ensure equal opportunities and treatment for people with disabilities.

It is estimated that there are one billion people with disabilities in the world. These people already face difficulties that hinder their participation in the world of work and expose them to a greater risk of poverty and social exclusion. In eight geographical regions, 36 per cent of the people with disabilities of working age are employed, compared with 60 per cent of the general population.

That is why a new guide is being proposed to help create a more equitable future for all. The premise is based on five fundamental objectives that must be achieved to benefit from new employment trends related to technologies, skills and to cultural, demographic and climate change.

1. New employment modes and relationships must be based on the inclusion of people with disabilities.
2. The development of skills and lifelong learning must be inclusive.
3. New infrastructures, products and services must follow the principles of universal design (meaning that they can be accessible, understood and used by all).
4. Assistive technologies must be available and affordable.
5. More measures are needed to include people with disabilities in the developing and growing fields of the economy. In addition, social protection systems are an important additional element to making the future of work inclusive for people with disabilities.

Although companies already include disability in their diversity and inclusion initiatives, this is not enough for the future. “We know that people with disabilities are more likely to be in vulnerable jobs and earn lower wages. If we want to achieve the goal of future work that is inclusive for all people, we urgently need to adopt the principles described in this roadmap”, says the ILO.