Evidence briefs

15 results

What is the current evidence on promoting employment for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities?

There is a sparse evidence base of employment interventions that specifically focus on people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). The little research available has indicated that the perceived benefits of employment for persons with IDD are similar to that of the non-disabled population in terms of their relationships with co-workers, increased income and opportunities, feeling of being busy and productive and self-worth.  Low employment rates among people with IDD have been reported globally. This brief explores the evidence of the possible causes and issues regarding interventions to increase employment of persons with IDD.

  • Livelihood & Social Protection
  • Provide training on inclusive employment practices to employers and co-workers to ensure that people with IDD experience supportive working environments.
  • Evaluate the fit of the individual to the job position as well as customise the job description to promote better mental health of the individual.
  • Interventions need to be adequately adapted to the realities of persons with intellectual disabilities
  • Increase knowledge and awareness about assistive products and technology and the need thereof for people with IDD.
  • A multi-sectoral approach e.g. job coaches, co-workers, managers, and families are needed to create more work participation and promote supported employment.

How does assistive technology benefit people with disabilities on their path to and in employment?

Assistive technologies encompass a wide spectrum of devices and services that act as an interface between the person and environment. The use of assistive technologies in the workplace has been identified as a beneficial strategy to enable people with disabilities to obtain and maintain employment. However, the current information has been defined in general terms and how to choose one accommodation over another is not very well understood in the literature. The specific technologies and accessible solutions that have successfully been used in the workplace by people with disabilities are also not well documented. It is important to know what assistive technologies are being used in the workplace, what benefits and challenges it poses and for whom to understand what can be done to assist people with disabilities to obtain and maintain employment.

  • Livelihood & Social Protection
  • Cross-cutting
  • Provide alternative basic and inexpensive computer interfaces
  • Increase and provide comprehensive training in the use of assistive technology from a younger age
  • Along with the provision of assistive technology, provide associated services to prevent its abandonment
  • Ensure that people with disabilities have access to the same assistive technology in the home as they would in the workplace during remote working as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Provide training for the colleagues of assistive technology users to ensure awareness and a supportive work environment

What are the strategies or models that support youth with disabilities to enter into employment?

Despite initiatives, strategies and legislation attempting to promote and enforce equal opportunities for persons with disabilities, including in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), evidence globally suggests that the labour market is far from inclusive. Youth with disabilities are often unemployed, underemployed or earn less than non-disabled colleagues. They are often the last to be hired, the first to be retrenched or fired, or hired for unskilled jobs. However, there is limited research and evidence of initiatives and programmes that support persons with disabilities into employment.  This evidence brief aims to identify and provide evidence on the strategies and models that are effective in assisting young people with disabilities to enter into employment, as well as to highlight barriers and gaps in knowledge to inform future practices.

  • Education
  • Livelihood & Social Protection
  • Strategies and initiatives should ensure effective multi-stakeholder collaboration that mutually prioritises employment of youth with disabilities
  • Provide specific employment support services for people with disabilities at educational institutions as well as guidance for educational staff.
  • Inform employers about how to accommodate young persons with disabilities and provide entry-level programs.
  • Address attitudinal barriers among educational institutions, service providers and employers through staff training, and specialised recruitment agencies.

How do we overcome barriers to accessing higher education for people with disabilities?

Evidence suggests that gaps in educational achievement between people with and without disabilities is greatest in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).  Education is one of the fundamental rights for individuals, with educational attainment being associated with multiple positive outcomes related to improved employment rates, social inclusion, self-sufficiency, and independent living. The Global Campaign for Education (2014) has emphasized that education must be equitable, inclusive, and free to achieve universal education and has emphasized the need for concrete steps to overcome all forms of discrimination. Literature highlights multiple barriers for young people with disabilities in accessing higher education, including lack of financial assistance, policy provisions and regulations in higher education (HE) institutes. This evidence brief summarises what we know about how to overcome the under-representation of people with disabilities in higher education.

  • Education
  • Livelihood & Social Protection
  • Construct accessible infrastructure in higher education institutions for students with disabilities.
  • Develop inclusive higher education systems and governmental policies, especially in LMICs.
  • Strengthen training and accountability in educational institutions to address the needs of students with disabilities.
  • Provide large-scale awareness programs to eliminate stigma against people with disabilities.

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