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“Reasonable Accommodation” and “Accessibility”: Human Rights Instruments Relating to Inclusion and Exclusion in the Labor Market

Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Applied Sciences Bremen, Neustadtswall 30, 28199 Bremen, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Gregor Wolbring
Societies 2016, 6(1), 3;
Received: 28 August 2015 / Revised: 23 December 2015 / Accepted: 6 January 2016 / Published: 16 January 2016
(This article belongs to the Collection Ability Expectation and Ableism Studies (Short Ability Studies))
PDF [208 KB, uploaded 16 January 2016]


Ableism is a powerful social force that causes persons with disabilities to suffer exclusion. The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) is based on the human rights principles of equality and freedom for all people. This Convention contains two human rights instruments: the principle of accessibility and the means of reasonable accommodation, which can be used to protect the human rights of disabled persons. The extent to which they are used depends on whether the state implements the Convention adequately and whether companies accept their responsibility with respect to employing disabled persons and making workplaces available and designing them appropriately. Civil society can demand the adequate implementation of the human rights asserted in the CRPD and, thus, in national legislation, as well. A crucial point here is that only a state that has ratified the Convention is obliged to implement the Convention. Civil society has no obligation to do this, but has the right to participate in the implementation process (Art. 4 and Art. 33 CRPD). The Convention can play its part for disabled persons participating in the labor market without discrimination. If it is not implemented or not heeded sufficiently, the state must push this and put more effort into its implementation. If the state does not do this, this violates human rights and has direct consequences for the living conditions of disabled persons. The powerful ideological force of ableism then remains dominant and hampers or prevents the participation of persons with disabilities in the labor market and, thus, in society as a whole. View Full-Text
Keywords: CRPD; reasonable accommodations; accessibility; labor market; ableism CRPD; reasonable accommodations; accessibility; labor market; ableism
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Hirschberg, M.; Papadopoulos, C. “Reasonable Accommodation” and “Accessibility”: Human Rights Instruments Relating to Inclusion and Exclusion in the Labor Market. Societies 2016, 6, 3.

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