Leveraging Employer Practices in Global Regulatory Frameworks to Improve Employment Outcomes for People with Disabilities

Open Access Journal | ISSN: 2183-2803

Article | Open Access

Leveraging Employer Practices in Global Regulatory Frameworks to Improve Employment Outcomes for People with Disabilities


  • Matthew C. Saleh K. Lisa Yang and Hock E. Tan Institute on Employment and Disability, ILR School, Cornell University, USA
  • Susanne M. Bruyère K. Lisa Yang and Hock E. Tan Institute on Employment and Disability, ILR School, Cornell University, USA


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Abstract:  Work is an important part of life, providing both economic security and a forum to contribute one’s talents and skills to society, thereby anchoring the individual in a social role. However, access to work is not equally available to people with disabilities globally. Regulatory environments that prohibit discrimination and support vocational training and educational opportunities constitute a critical first step toward economic independence. However, they have not proven sufficient in themselves. In this article, we aim to infuse deeper consideration of employer practice and demand-side policy reforms into global policy discussions of the right to work for people with disabilities. We begin by documenting the employment and economic disparities existing for people with disabilities globally, followed by a description of the international, regional, and local regulatory contexts aiming to improve labor market outcomes for people with disabilities. Next, we examine how policies can leverage employer interests to further address inequalities. We discuss employer policies and practices demonstrated in the research to facilitate recruitment, hiring, career development, retention, and meaningful workplace inclusion. The goal of the article is to synthesize existing international literature on employment rights for people with disabilities with the employer perspective.

Keywords:  disability; disabled worker; employment; employment equity; employer practices; human resources; international disability policy

Published:   26 March 2018


DOI: https://doi.org/10.17645/si.v6i1.1201


© Matthew C. Saleh, Susanne M. Bruyère. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.