The aim of this paper, based on desk research, is to analyse the barriers to access and retain formal employment of persons with disabilities which are framed in three categories according to where the barriers primarily manifest:
1. In the workplace among employers and co-workers without disabilities
2. Among persons with disabilities seeking or engaged in formal employment
3. In the wider social, physical and policy environment.
Although the study mainly focuses on Kenya and Bangladesh other countries’ literature on access to and retention of employment of persons with disabilities were reviewed where relevant. In the context where the global COVID-19 pandemic is breaking barriers to remote working one part of the solution will be to empower persons with disabilities with appropriate access to Information and Communication Technology, assistive devices and services, digital skills, creating more accessible and inclusive digital platforms for persons with disabilities which also hold the potential to improve working conditions and productivity for the whole workforce as well as enhancing resilience to potential future shocks.
GDI Hub Working Paper Series Issue 01