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.
(1) Laws and regulations in the employment field must not discriminate against persons with disabilities and must not raise obstacles to their employment.
(2) 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.
(3) States' action programmes should include: (a) Measures to design and adapt workplaces and work premises in such a way that they become accessible for persons with different disabilities: (b) 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; (c) Provision of appropriate training and placement and ongoing support such as personal assistance and interpreter services.
(4) States should initiate and support public awareness-raising campaigns designed to overcome negative attitudes and prejudices concerning workers with disabilities.
(5) In their capacity as employers, states should create favourable conditions for the employment of persons with disabilities in the public sector.
(6) 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.
(7) 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.
(8) Measures should be taken to include persons with disabilities in training and employment programmes in the private and informal sectors.
(9) 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.
In 2001, ILO launched a new [Code of Practice on Managing Disability in the Workplace] to coincide with the [International Day for Disabled Person] (3rd December). It provides guidance to enterprises on how to recruit people with disabilities and maintain employment for workers who become disabled. It is the first of its kind and can be applied by all employers, in both developed and developing countries. A new guide, entitled [Unlocking Potential: The New Disability Business Case], proposes a sophisticated business case argument and end with a call to action, reminding us that business, government, trade unions and the not-for-profit sector must combine forces if business is to benefit fully from the contribution of people with disabilities.