People with disabilities: employment and accessibility

EESC opinion: People with disabilities: employment and accessibility

Key points

The EESC calls for:

Europe 2020 strategy

  • a specific section on disability to be included within the Europe 2020 strategy, the Employment Guidelines and the Social Agenda;
  • including criteria to strengthen disability policies in the future post-Lisbon Strategy;
  • a European Disability Pact adoption, laying the foundations for a new European policy on disability;
  • policies that foster innovation, are based on statistical data and give visibility to people with disabilities in all relevant European and national statistics.

Employment and people with disabilities

  • a market that is inclusive for all; the EESC points out that employment policies for people with disabilities must focus on the entire life process relating to employment ("lifestreaming");
  • a report to be presented by the Commission within a year on the implementation of the provisions of Directive 2000/78/EC concerning disability and employment;
  • recognising the role of companies that employ a majority of people with disabilities and, more widely, of social economy undertakings and SMEs;
  • awareness-raising policies to combat persistent stereotypes regarding workers with disabilities; the EESC highlights the role of the media in ensuring acceptance of diversity.


  • progressive implementation of accessibility-related products, services and infrastructures;
  • establishment of a European Capital of Universal Accessibility;
  • drafting of eAccessibility legislation.

Social dialogue and disability

  • the importance of the social partners in ensuring that people with disabilities work on equal conditions with others, with just and favourable conditions of work.

Participation and civil dialogue

  • inclusion of the principle of "Nothing about disabled people, without disabled people" and for its application within the Europe 2020 strategy and programmes for people with disabilities that receive public funding. The EU and the Member States must promote the development of civil society and guarantee its funding.