Cornell University

June 30 2011

Equal Rights Agenda

Bruyère lead author on employment focus of worldwide disabilities report

The director of ILR's Employment and Disability Institute is lead author on the employment and work chapter of the first world report on disability, published this month by the World Health Organization and the World Bank.

Susanne Bruyère, also ILR's associate dean of outreach, said report creators hope it will raise awareness, build political will and set an agenda leading to equal rights for people with disabilities.

About 15 in every 100 persons worldwide — some 785 million people — have a disability, she said.

"Employers play a huge role, nationally and internationally, in helping close gaps faced by people with disabilities. Hiring people with disabilities and helping employees who become disabled return to their jobs are critical components of an inclusive world society," she said.

The employment chapter recommends employers develop partnerships with local employment agencies, educational institutions and other organizations to build a skilled work force that includes people with disabilities.

It also recommends that all supervisors and human resource personnel be familiar with requirements for accommodation and nondiscrimination. The report is available at http://www.who.int/disabilities/world_report/2011/en/index.html.