Remote work removes disability barriers
by Mehak Dugal

Remote and hybrid work can significantly reduce barriers to work for people with disabilities, but it shouldn’t be seen as an alternative to improving the accessibility of workplaces through practical accommodations, according to a new report from Employers for Change.


Employers for Change is part of the Open Doors Initiative, which provides marginalised groups pathways to work through training, education and employment opportunities.


Its new report on the future of work and disability studied the impact of remote working on disabled people during the Covid-19 pandemic. It found that removing barriers in transport, and allowing for greater flexibility around working hours, greatly improved the working lives and workforce participation for many.


It also said remote working had greatly improved a sense of connectedness among employees with disabilities. 


Authored by Maynooth University academic Joan O’Donnell, the report collaborated with several employers and equality experts including ICTU’s equality and development policy officer, David Joyce.


O’Donnell said remote work “does not necessarily offer a solution for inclusion and accessibility in the workplace,” and should not be treated as a simple fix to an extremely complex issue around accessibility improvement.


The report also highlights the importance of involving disabled employees in conversations around company policies and remote working policies that will greatly affect them.


Ireland currently has one of Europe’s lowest employment rates for people with disabilities. 


Read The Future of Work and Disability: A Remote Opportunity HERE


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