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UN Programme on Disability   Working for full participation and equality


Article 27 - Right to work
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Disability-specific instruments


Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities
Adopted by the United Nations General Assembly, forty-eighth session, resolution 48/96, annex, of 20 December 1993


Rule 7 Employment

States should recognize the principle that persons with disabilities must be empowered to exercise their human rights, particularly in the field of employment. In both rural and urban areas they must have equal opportunities for productive and gainful employment in the labour market.

Laws and regulations in the employment field must not discriminate against persons with disabilities and must not raise obstacles to their employment.

States should actively support the integration of persons with disabilities into open employment. This active support could occur through a variety of measures, such as vocational training, incentive-oriented quota schemes, reserved or designated employment, loans or grants for small business, exclusive contracts or priority production rights, tax concessions, contract compliance or other technical or financial assistance to enterprises employing workers with disabilities. States should also encourage employers to make reasonable adjustments to accommodate persons with disabilities.

States' action programmes should include:

o Measures to design and adapt workplaces and work premises in such a way that they become accessible to persons with different disabilities;

o Support for the use of new technologies and the development and production of assistive devices, tools and equipment and measures to facilitate access to such devices and equipment for persons with disabilities to enable them to gain and maintain employment;

o Provision of appropriate training and placement and ongoing support such as personal assistance and interpreter services.

States should initiate and support public awareness-raising campaigns designed to overcome negative attitudes and prejudices concerning workers with disabilities.

In their capacity as employers, States should create favourable conditions for the employment of persons with disabilities in the public sector.

States, workers' organizations and employers should cooperate to ensure equitable recruitment and promotion policies, employment conditions, rates of pay, measures to improve the work environment in order to prevent injuries and impairments and measures for the rehabilitation of employees who have sustained employment-related injuries.

The aim should always be for persons with disabilities to obtain employment in the open labour market. For persons with disabilities whose needs cannot be met in open employment, small units of sheltered or supported employment may be an alternative. It is important that the quality of such programmes be assessed in terms of their relevance and sufficiency in providing opportunities for persons with disabilities to gain employment in the labour market.

Measures should be taken to include persons with disabilities in training and employment programmes in the private and informal sectors.

States, workers' organizations and employers should cooperate with organizations of persons with disabilities concerning all measures to create training and employment opportunities, including flexible hours, part-time work, job-sharing, self-employment and attendant care for persons with disabilities.

World Programme of Action Concerning Disabled Persons
Adopted by the United Nations General Assembly, thirty-seventh session, Resolution 37/52 of 3 December 1982

Education and training

Member States should adopt policies which recognize the rights of disabled persons to equal educational opportunities with others. The education of disabled persons should as far as possible take place in the general school system. Responsibility for their education should be placed upon the educational authorities and laws regarding compulsory education should include children with all ranges of disabilities, including the most severely disabled.

Member States should allow for increased flexibility in the application to disabled persons of any regulation concerning admission age, promotion from class to class and, when appropriate, in examination procedures.

Basic criteria are to be met when developing educational services for disabled children and adults. These services should be:

Individualized, i.e, based on the assessed needs mutually agreed upon by authorities, administrators, parents and disabled students and leading to clearly stated curriculum goals and short term objectives which are regularly reviewed and where necessary revised;

Locally accessible, i.e., within reasonable travelling distance of the pupil's home or residence except in special circumstances;

Comprehensive, i.e., serving all persons with special needs ir- respective of age or degree of disability, and such that no child of school age is excluded from educational provision on grounds of severity of disability or receives educational services significantly inferior to those enjoyed by any other students;

Offering a range of choice commensurate with the range of special needs in any given community.

Integration of disabled children into the general educational system requires planning by all parties concerned.

If, for some reason, the facilities of the general school system are inadequate for some disabled children, schooling for these children should then be provided for an appropriate period of time in special facilities. The quality of this special schooling should be equal to that of the general school system and closely linked to it.

The involvement of parents at all levels of the educational process is vital. Parents should be given the necessary support to provide as normal a family environment for the disabled child as is possible. Personnel should be trained to work with the parents of disabled children.

Member States should provide for the participation of disabled persons in adult education programmes, with special attention to rural areas if the facilities of regular adult education courses are in- adequate to meet the needs of some disabled persons, special courses or training centres may be needed until the regular programmes have been modified. Member States should grant disabled persons possibilities for education at the university level

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