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Access to quality employment
There are a lot of European Union (EU) laws and initiatives to support wheelchair users in finding sustainable employment that complements their professional skills.
The European Commission (EC) states that “Participation in employment is the best way to ensure economic autonomy and social inclusion” (see here, p10), while noting how disadvantaged people living with a disability remain in this regard.
Fortunately, since the 1980’s, the European community has recognised the importance of getting more people with disabilities to participate more holistically in the workforce.
Most recently the EC has published its Strategy for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2021-2030, which highlight flagship initiatives designed to increase accessibility to public transport and buildings, issuing an EU-wide disability card, improving facilities for independent living, and so on.
A key proposed employment initiative is to develop EU-wide Employment Guidelines that will help to promote ways to increase participation in sustainable, meaningful and economically-productive employment.
Another recent initiative has been to promote the importance of the Social Economy in creating a more equitable and inclusive workplace for all Europeans. While these EU-wide initiatives focus mainly on broad principles, they also direct EU funding and constrain member state funding to provide more affirmative support to improve access to employment for people with disabilities.
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