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Promoting the inclusion of persons with disabilities in the labour market

“Persons with disabilities encounter many obstacles to accessing the labor market, such as prejudice on their competences, the lack of accessibility, or the unwillingness of employers to provide reasonable accommodations,” the Committee on Equality regretted, noting that their level of employment in the public and private sectors was unsatisfactory.

“It is time to dispel the myth according to which persons with disabilities cannot work as efficiently as others and to highlight abilities instead of disabilities,” the committee said today, approving unanimously the report by Adão Silva (Portugal, EPP/CD).

Stressing that the political will should be translated into concrete actions and that sufficient financial resources should be allocated, the committee recommended a series of measures to the member States, including the adoption of comprehensive national disability actions plans, the implementation of legislation on preventing and combating discrimination in access to employment, the accessibility of public transport and buildings, the possibility for children with disabilities to access mainstream schools, and specialised support for persons with disabilities when in employment and when looking for employment.

In addition, the committee expressed its support for the Council of Europe Disability Strategy 2017-2023, which calls on the member States to promote equality and non-discrimination of persons with disabilities through an inclusive education system and the development of training, communication and employment initiatives.