Disabled students ‘talking’ outside of the Addis Ababa University’s Disability and Career Development Center.

The International Labour Organization (ILO) has worked for decades to promote equal training and employment opportunities for persons with disabilities through international labour standards, knowledge development, advocacy and technical advisory services to its constituents. This work has been given renewed impetus by the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) that entered into force in May 2008. The ILO Convention concerning Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (Disabled Persons) No. 159 and other international labour standards combine with the CRPD to firmly set disability issues in the framework of human rights. Together, these instruments highlight significant changes required in the legal and policy environment in many countries around the world to give effect to this new policy vision.

This education and training guide Achieving Equal Employment Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities through Legislation, and the legislation guidelines to which it is linked, were developed as part of an ILO Project 'The Employment of People with Disabilities: the Impact of Legislation', funded by the Government of Ireland. ILO commissioned Cornell University to develop this guide to serve as a resource for trainers in countries around the world. The education and training guide was authored and designed by Thomas P. Golden of Cornell University's Employment and Disability Institute in close collaboration with Barbara Murray (ILO), with assistance of Debra Perry (ILO) and Ilene Zeitzer, Disability Policy Solutions.

The guide has been used as the basis for introducing modules on disability legislation in the law faculties of several universities to date. It is also used as a resource by the Centre for Disability Law and Policy at the University of the Western Cape, South Africa, which was established in 2010 with the sponsorship of the ILO/Irish Aid Partnership Programme to serve as regional resource centre providing degree courses and annual workshops relating to the legal rights of persons with disabilities. It is available electronically through the ILO web site and in hard copy through ILO offices.

With the entry into force of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in May 2008, countries around the world are attaching higher priority to promoting the rights of persons with disabilities in skills development and employment. This is why the education and training guide is so timely and relevant to realizing the vision of a labour market that is open, inclusive and accessible to persons with disabilities.

Christine Evans-Klock
Skills and Employability Department


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