SUDI 2019 - SUSTAINABILITY AND DISABILITY CONFERENCENovember 25 & 26, 2019
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Dr. Raul Gouvea, SUDI Founder, Chair
Dr. Sue Iliff, SUDI Co-Chair
Overview, Goals and Objectives
Currently more than one billion people (15% of the global population) live with some form of disability. Aging, chronic health issues, and mental health disorders are major factors contributing to disability around the globe. These individuals are disproportionately disadvantaged globally in economic and employment opportunities. Thus, it is critical to address these far-reaching global disability issues proactively.
The 2019 SUDI Conference will bring together policy-makers, academics, practitioners, business representatives, and NGOs/DPOs, to discuss and elaborate on proposals to more effectively channel policies and strategies to address the employment and quality of life needs of people with disabilities (PWD). We at SUDI strongly believe that there is a tremendous opportunity for stakeholders to build an inclusive, equitable, and sustainable society and business environment that can lift PWD out of poverty and into economic self-sufficiency. The SUDI 2019 conference is framed along the four main dimensions permeating the discussion of disability issues, such as equality, respect, fairness, and inclusion.
Lifting people with disabilities out of poverty and into economic self-sufficiency is a key pillar of an inclusive, equitable and sustainable global social and business environment. As stated by Professor Stephen W.Hawking, “Disability need not to be an obstacle to success.”
The gap between people with disabilities (PWD) and without is still present in many countries around the globe. These gaps are translated in terms of employment rates, modalities of employment, pay, and share in the total employment. Supply and demand side factors also interact to shape the employment of PWD in many countries. The main challenge is to reduce the long-standing disparities between PWD and people without disabilities. Moreover, attention needs to be paid not only to the number of available jobs, but also to the quality of jobs for PWD. Along these lines, efforts also need to be made to eliminate attitudinal and virtual barriers, fostering the creation of diverse supported employment (SE) environments.
Efforts need to be implemented to dispel misconceptions, lack of knowledge, and stereotypes, and increase the understanding of disabilities that will foster the effective inclusion of PWDs into the global labor workforce. Thus, the 2019 SUDI will also address the following issues: a) What can foster and facilitate employment outcomes for PWDs, b) What can lower/eliminate barriers for PWDs seeking employment, and c) What can lower/eliminate barriers for businesses hiring PWDs.
SUDI 2019 will also address the importance of technology and innovation in addressing the disability-employment nexus. Assistive technologies are increasingly playing a key role in the job insertion and inclusiveness for PWD. As mentioned by Mary Pat Radabaugh, “For most people, technology makes things easier. For people with disabilities, technology makes things possible.”