It is widely acknowledged that people with disabilities have not had equal access to vocational training. While some charitable institutions, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and governments provide training in separate centres for disabled persons, and some of these are exemplary institutions, examples of inclusive vocational training systems are lacking.
The Expert Group Meeting on the Inclusion of People with Disabilities in Vocational Training was designed to identify the barriers and challenges to inclusion and to suggest practical solutions, tools and techniques to address them. While participants fully acknowledged that effective legislation and policies need to be in place, it was also duly noted that such directives do exist in most countries but they are not implemented. Why is this happening and what needs to be done about it?
The answers and issues are complex but the group of vocational training experts, disabled persons, and representatives of international organizations, governments and NGOs as well as workers and employers spent three days exploring them and using their knowledge and expertise to achieve the overall goal of the meeting. These Proceedings document the excellent presentations, lively discussions, active working groups, thoughtful strategies and final recommendations that emerged from the meeting. Barriers and solutions are noted as well as suggestions and descriptions of tools and techniques. The Proceedings list eight concrete recommendations for guiding stakeholders in assuring that women and men with disabilities have their rightful access to the training and the support services disabled persons may need to contribute to their families, their communities and the development of their countries.