Employers should do more to accommodate disabled workers according to a new survey

Nine in ten (89%) people in Ireland agree that more should be done by employers to accommodate employees with disabilities, while one in five (21%) people say they have witnessed or directly experienced discrimination directly related to someone’s disability, according to a new national Amárach poll published recently by the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (‘the Commission’) to mark the UN’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

Every year on 3 December, the world celebrates this day, which aims to promote an understanding of disability rights, and provide focus on the dignity and equal participation of disabled people.

The theme of this year’s international day was “Leadership and participation of persons with disabilities toward an inclusive, accessible and sustainable post-COVID-19 world“. This focuses on ensuring our eventual recovery from COVID-19 sees the full participation of disabled people, and avoids the creation of an even larger rights gap.

Sinéad Gibney, Chief Commissioner of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission commented: “These figures show that our society has had enough of those amongst us with disabilities being side-lined and patronised.

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“Full and meaningful participation in the decisions that shape our lives is something we should all expect. And that expectation is no different for disabled people.”

The nationally representative poll of over 1200 people published also shows that in relation to disability rights:

  • Barriers to Participation – Almost nine in ten (87%) of people in Ireland agree that people with disabilities face barriers in participating fully in Irish society, in 2020 this figure was 86%.
  • Fair treatment – Two-fifths (41%) consider that people with disabilities are not treated fairly in Irish society, in line with 2020 (42%)
  • COVID response – A greater proportion agree (42%) than disagree (24%) that minority groups have been sufficiently considered in Ireland’s response to COVID-19. Rates of agreement have increased compared to 2020 results (36%)

The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission is Ireland’s independent National Human Rights Institution and National Equality Body, and is the designated independent monitor of Ireland’s obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD.)