Call to remove working barriers for people with disabilities

People with disabilities in Galway face challenges and barriers to finding, securing, and retaining jobs, according to the Irish Association of Supported Employment which is calling on more to be done in the working world to ensure the promotion of more inclusive employment practices.

According to the Central Statistics Office, there are some 30,175 people in Galway with some sort of disability accounting for 12 per cent of the county’s population. Adults within this group are substantially more likely than the rest of the general population to face many challenges in the workplace, according to the IASE, a national organisation promoting equal employment opportunities for people with disability through supported employment.

The IASE said the Disability in the Labour Market report released by the Economic and Social Research Institute earlier this year showed that people with disabilities are less than half as likely to be at work compared to the rest of the working age population. Just 36 per cent of people with disabilities are active in the labour market compared to 77 per cent of other adults.

The IASE is now calling on employers, managers, human resource professionals, disability service providers, elected representatives, people with disabilities and their families across Galway to turn their eyes to a major international event taking place in Dublin next month. The European Union of Supported Employment conference, hosted by the IASE and sponsored by the Rehab Group, will see leading world experts on disability and employment from more than 30 countries, across five continents, gather in Croke Park for three days. They will address some of the biggest challenges, advances and developments in supporting people with disabilities and other marginalised groups into jobs.

Pauline O’Dwyer is the coordinator of EmployAbility Galway - an organisation which supports people in Galway with disabilities into jobs- and a member of the IASE. She explained: “Nobody should experience serious barriers to the working world, which plays such an important role in promoting social inclusion. This European conference will place significant emphasis on the positive contribution individuals with a disability can make to the workplace and explore the challenges and solutions to more inclusive employment practices and worksites.”

To learn more about the conference, visit


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