International Day of Persons with Disabilities - 3 December

Sustainable Development: The Promise of Technology

For people with disabilities who are of working age, the rapid progress in information and communications technology (ICT) and assistive technology offer ever-increasing opportunities to participate in the world of work.

The estimated 1 billion people with disabilities worldwide represent some 15 per cent of the global population and are at higher risk of poverty than others. People with disabilities find it difficult to get jobs because of the inaccessibility of buildings, public transport, information and mistaken assumptions about their capacity to work. In all countries, unemployment among women and men with disabilities is higher than those for persons without disabilities. In OECD countries, for example, the unemployment rate reported for people with disabilities was 14 per cent compared to 7 per cent among non-disabled people. And, significantly, almost half of those with disabilities are outside of the active labour market and reliant on benefits, family support or charity. Increasingly, technology holds the promise to contribute to the development of disabled persons as well as their economic independence and, in the process, promotes inclusive societies and sustainable development.