This thesis examines the barriers to employment for people with disabilities in the province of Nova Scotia from the perspectives of service providers and individuals with disabilities. In response to the Federal report “Rethinking disAbility in the Private Sector,” this thesis uses the researcher’s involvement in an annual Inclusive Education and Employment Symposium to explore the barriers that are present within the political and economic system that limits the opportunities for employment for people with disabilities. From focus group data with Symposium organizers and conversations with Symposium participants with disabilities, I have examined five key issues that were found to be systematic barriers to employment for individuals with disabilities. These are employers’ attitudes, financial barriers and disincentives, lack of community and government participation, individual insecurities because of lack of qualifications and experience as well as continued discouragement, and lack of knowledge about available programs and services. Recommendations for improvement are presented at the end as potential ways to combat these concerns.
In the present context of labour shortages and skills gaps in Canada, it has been acknowledged that the country cannot afford to keep going without the talents of entire groups of populations that are currently under-represented in the labour market. Among those groups are people with disabilities. This group is far from homogenous, and therefore not easy to define. Data in this paper helps to show a picture of the employment situation of people with disabilities. This paper also addresses some of the barriers that people with disabilities face, and provides an overview of certain federal programs that can help them. Finally, this paper discusses the Canadian legislative framework, with a focus on measures that prevent discrimination against people with disabilities, allowing them to join the workforce and engage fully in their communities.
BACKGROUND:Participation in the workforce is one of the main social evaluations all individuals are subject to in modern society. Public policies supporting social justice for persons with disabilities have gained prominence in several nations in the last decades and it is critical to ensure that those who want to work are afforded the opportunity to do so. Meanwhile they remain under represented in the labor market within the contemporary world.
The purpose of this study was to identify facilitators or barriers faced by people with disability within the workforce.
Ten workers with disabilities from various companies and performing diverse professional job functions participated in semi-structured interviews.
The Discourse of the Collective Subject method was employed as a means to organize and analyze qualitative data of a verbal nature.
Reasonable work conditions, adjustments, and accommodations facilitate performance and job retention. Social participation through employment leads to social recognition and the feeling of citizenship. On the other hand prejudice, unequal opportunities, workers’ low educational attainment, and lack of training opportunities lead to employment exclusion.
To include people with disabilities in the workforce, it is necessary to focus on attaining equal levels of education, an unbiased and inclusive process for entering the labor market, and continued management of disability issues within the workplace. Together, these elements create equal opportunities for workers with disabilities to advance in their careers, which in turn enables participation, social recognition and guaranties their rights as citizens.
Objectives: To identify and track the progress of mature age workers who have overcome barriers associated with their age. To identify factors contributing to successful employment outcomes for older workers. To evaluate the success rate of service providers in facilitating access to the labour market for older workers.
Methods: Three job network providers were approached: Mission Employment, Salvation Army Employment Plus and Work Ventures Inc. All three agreed to provide addresses of clients aged 45 years and over to be reached through a mail questionnaire. A total of 700 questionnaires were dispatched anonymously with the cooperation of these three organizations. A small number of follow?up interviews were also conducted with survey respondents who indicated their willingness to be interviewed, and had signed a consent form for this purpose. Several interviews were also conducted with staff at the three cooperating agencies.
Results: Of the 700 questionnaires dispatched, 163 were returned, giving a response rate of 23%. Among the respondents, 82 were employed at the time and 81 were unemployed. There were approximately equal responses from men and women. Of the 82 employed persons, 48 had obtained jobs either through answering advertisements or through personal contacts. Only 19 had obtained employment through a job network agency. The most important barrier to employment was identified as age, followed by lack of specialized skills.
Conclusions: Early intervention is essential. The chances of re?employment decline steadily with the duration of unemployment. Age discrimination stands out as the major obstacle to re?employment for older workers. Personal connections and specialized skills are more important than the activities of job network agencies. Job seekers are also handicapped by inflexibility in relation to training, travel to new locations, and acceptance of a different kind of job.
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.