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Barriers to employment as experienced by disabled people: A qualitative analysis in calgary and regina, Canada

Public policies stress greater inclusion of disabled people in the labour market and suggest ways to implement accommodative measures to these ends. Often missing from this literature is the experiences of disabled people in labour markets. This article reports results from a qualitative study conducted in 2005 and 2006 consisting of one-to-one and focus group interviews with 56 disabled individuals participating in employment training programmes in Calgary and Regina, Canada. Findings suggest the presence of workplace and employer discrimination and labelling as primary factors impeding respondents’ success in securing and maintaining employment in the labour market. The 56 respondents provide strong evidence that perceptions of disability have a greater impact on their inability to maintain and secure employment than does the lack of accommodative practices and measures in the workplace.