Qualified or Not? A Case Study About Integration of People with Intellectual Disabilities on the Labor Market

People with intellectual disability, as a category, are an especially disadvantage group, as they often are in need of interventions from the society throughout the whole life. In Brazil, work is considered a human right and important for the construction of the social and personal identity. There is a law, called the Quota Law, which demands all companies with 100 employees or more, to employ between 2 – 5 % people with disabilities. This law aims to ensure this social right for the target group. However, several studies are pointing at the timid result the law has provided concerning employment for people with intellectual disabilities. This study intends to detect barriers, important aspects and possible solutions in order to facilitate for people with intellectual disabilities to enter the labor market using the Quota Law as a starting point.The study has an inductive and qualitative approach and the data is collected by semi structured interviews. The respondents are all related to issues of people with intellectual disabilities and their integration on the labor market. Within the sample there are; persons with intellectual disabilities who have an employment on the labor market or have a desire to obtain a competitive employment; relatives to persons with intellectual disabilities; professionals working in two different non-government organizations (NGO´s) in Recife that provides vocational courses for the target group and finally; respondents working at public ministries who act in the area of integration of people with disabilities on the labor market. The result shows that the main barriers for people with intellectual disabilities in order to reach the labor market were considered; prejudices and discrimination of persons with intellectual disability; the lack of qualification of people with intellectual disability in combination of high qualification requirements by the employers; the lack of support in order to compensate for intellectual disabilities; that the work environments are not customized for
the target group and; fear of loosing the Benefit of Continuous Support of Social Assistance (BPC).
Theories of perspectives on intellectual disabilities are used to understand current interventions in order to integrate people with intellectual disabilities on the labor market. One conclusion is that there is a need for further efforts towards the target group in order to really obtain an effective integration for people with intellectual disability on the labor market.