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German EU Presidency 2007

2007 European Year of Equal Opportunities for All

Diversity at work
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Transforming Disability Into Ability


In 2003, the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) produced policy conclusions for their survey of disability policies for the working age population in 20 member countries. The policy conclusions add up to a new approach towards disability policy. The new approach has five main points, which are to:

  • Recognise the status of disability independently of the work and income situation - this refers to the way that disability is understood. For policies to be effective, societies need to change the way they think about disability.
  • Emphasize activation - each disabled person should be entitled to a package that would contain various rehabilitation and work elements, as well as benefits in cash and kind.
  • Propose a new structure for benefit systems - this is basically restructuring the existing disability benefit systems.
  • Introduce a culture of mutual obligations
  • Give a more important role to employers - involving employers is crucial for the successful re-integration of disabled people.

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