Apr 21

Could Coronavirus Change The Working World For Disabled People?


With self-isolation and social distancing now the new norm around the world, at least for the time being, the pandemic has proven that changes being seen where working practices are concerned could be rolled out for disabled people as well.

This is according to a new report from the World Economic Forum, which explains that for many people living with a disability there will be no going back to business as usual once the crisis is over, because self-isolation and exclusion from daily life is, in fact, the norm for them.

The report goes on to say that what has become clear as a result of the pandemic is that business can be agile, with widespread home working swiftly implemented, a “huge upswing” in the uptake of online conferencing technology and even the introduction of dedicated shopping hours for vulnerable people.

“We must ensure businesses apply the learnings from this period to improve inclusion of people with disabilities worldwide by using the same tools we’re using now to allow this community to participate fully in the workforce.

“There’s no excuse not to – we’ve seen it work for a large part of the 7.8 billion global population; now it needs to continue to work for the 1.3 billion [who live with a disability worldwide],” it was observed.

In the UK, there are over 3.7 million disabled people in work – but this demographic is more than twice as likely to be unemployed as someone without any disabilities. Overall, there are 13.9 million disabled people in this country, eight per cent of whom are children. Some 19 per cent of working age adults are disabled, while the same is true for 45 per cent of pension age adults.

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