The future of work and disability: learning our way forward

Joan O'Donnell
Systemsbeing
Published in
5 min readMar 9, 2022

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Continuous advances in technology and Assistive Technology (AT) enhance the range of work that people can do outside the office environment, making working-from-home (WFH), hybrid or remote working a realistic option for many workers with disabilities. It may suit those seeking greater flexibility in their working day, allow for better management of disabling conditions at home or sidestep the need to negotiate public transport.

Disability and work poses a complex issue that persists despite broad recognition of the interrelationship between disability, poverty, education, housing in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) Article 27, which commits to safeguarding and promoting the right for disabled people to work on par with others. While the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) suggests there is a greater need to engage employers to build a better world of work for persons with disabilities, the ESRI finds that there is also a need to understand the experience of disabled people in work.

Participating in the emerging workplace relies on having the right digital skills, access to Information and communications technology (ICTs), the means to pay for them, and that the technology must be accessible.

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