The aim of the area of action Employment is to “enable many more people with disabilities to earn their living on the open labour market.”
Access to Sign Language interpreting at the work place is essential for full inclusion, participation and equality. In 33 per cent of the countries, deaf people are entitled to Sign Language interpreting at the work place as much as needed according to the law. However, this is in most of these cases depending on the availability of interpreters, which is limited in these cases making the legal flawed in reality. Even if the political will is there to give rights to interpreting, the political will to allocate funding for academic training for interpreters must also be in place for the law to work in practice. In 5 per cent, interpreting is available for up to 20 hours per week at the work place.
In 38 per cent of the countries, Sign Language interpreting is provided for but only up to maximum 8 hours per week. These hours are in many countries also suppose to be used in all areas of life and not just in the work place, i.e. also for education, health care services, personal meetings etc. making the ratio for accessible work places even less. There are countries where deaf people only have the right to 0,5-1hour of interpreting per week.
In 14 per cent of the countries there is not a system to give deaf the right to interpreting but it is available in limited amount and decided upon on a individual bases more or less. No interpreting is at all provided for in 10 per cent of the countries.
The systems in the various countries of how to apply for Sign Language interpreting is also very mixed and sometimes makes it more difficult as it is up to the individual to apply from the national government and one can only apply for a certain amount of hours per application, meaning one needs to apply many times per year. It also varies in countries if it is the number of hours which one can apply for or the there is a time limit for how long you are entitled to interpreting.
Aside from Sign Language interpreting, there are a few examples where the government also allocated resources to companies for Sign Language training of other staff and/or technical equipment to facilitate communication at the work place.
Interpreting in employment
Unlimited Max 20h/week Max 8h/week Limited and case by case None