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Reading: Barriers Faced by Persons with Disabilities in Formal Employment in India


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Barriers Faced by Persons with Disabilities in Formal Employment in India


Bharat Joshi ,

Resource Mobilisation and CBR, Blind People’s Association, Vejalpur, Ahmedabad, IN
About Bharat

The author has a MA degree in Human Rights Practice and works as a Program Manager with Blind People's Association, India. His areas of interest are - advocacy, mental health, unaccompanied minors (asylum seekers), human rights and community based rehabilitation. 



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Bigi Thomas

Department of Social Work, Sardar Patel University, Gujarat, IN
About Bigi

The author currently works as a Reader in the Department of Social Work, Sardar Patel University, Gujarat. She completed her Masters in Social Work from Nagpur University, Maharashtra; and has a Ph.D. in Social Work from Shivaji University, Maharashtra. Her areas of interest are - gender, health, migration.


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Purpose: According to the World Report on Disability, prepared by the World Health Organisation and the World Bank (2011), people with disabilities still face substantive discrimination in the world of work. An ILO report (2014) on “Disability and corporate social responsibility” identified some serious issues why employees with disability throughout the world still face discrimination and human rights violation. This study attempts to examine the severity of the multiple barriers faced by employees with disability in the course of their employment.

Method: Descriptive research design was used. By stratified random sampling, 100 persons with disabilities (mainly visual, hearing and physical impairments) were contacted and interviewed.

Results: Most of the respondents were between 20-30 years of age and 70% were males. Around 41.2% were graduates, yet most of them had low earnings. A large proportion (87.5%) was employed in the private sector. While most of the respondents (65%) reported facing a high level of physical barriers, a large proportion (52.5%) reported high levels of psychological and information, communication and technological (ICT) barriers.

Conclusion: Employees with disability mentioned several barriers and limitations with regard to transport, the attitudes of employers or colleagues, anxiety or lack of confidence, and issues relating to access and support. To ensure inclusive involvement in an organisation, employers must be sensitised on disability issues. A non-discriminative recruitment policy, an accessibility audit to minimise barriers, role-mapping of suitable positions, and adaptation of equipment to suit employees, are recommended.

How to Cite: Joshi, B. and Thomas, B., 2020. Barriers Faced by Persons with Disabilities in Formal Employment in India. Disability, CBR & Inclusive Development, 30(3), pp.125–132. DOI:
Published on 27 Jan 2020.
Peer Reviewed


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