22.According to the Standard Rules, persons with disabilities, whether in rural or urbanareas, must have equal opportunities for productive and gainful employment in the labourmarket.21For this to happen it is particularly important that artificial barriers to integration ingeneral, and to employment in particular, be removed. As the International LabourOrganization has noted, it is very often the physical barriers that society has erected in areassuch as transport, housing and the workplace which are then cited as the reason why personswith disabilities cannot be employed.22For example, as long as workplaces are designed andbuilt in ways that make them inaccessible to wheelchairs, employers will be able to “justify”their failure to employ wheelchair users. Governments should also develop policies whichpromote and regulate flexible and alternative work arrangements that reasonablyaccommodate the needs of disabled workers.23.Similarly, the failure of Governments to ensure that modes of transportation areaccessible to persons with disabilities greatly reduces the chances of such persons findingsuitable, integrated jobs, taking advantage of educational and vocational training, orcommuting to facilities of all types. Indeed, the provision of access to appropriate and, wherenecessary, specially tailored forms of transportation is crucial to the realization by personswith disabilities of virtually all the rights recognized in the Covenant.24.The “technical and vocational guidance and training programmes” required underarticle 6 (2) of the Covenant should reflect the needs of all persons with disabilities, takeplace in integrated settings, and be planned and implemented with the full involvement ofrepresentatives of persons with disabilities.25.The right to “the enjoyment of just and favourable conditions of work” (art. 7) appliesto all disabled workers, whether they work in sheltered facilities or in the open labour market.Disabled workers may not be discriminated against with respect to wages or other conditionsif their work is equal to that of non-disabled workers. States parties have a responsibility toensure that disability is not used as an excuse for creating low standards of labour protectionor for paying below minimum wages.26.Trade union-related rights (art. 8) apply equally to workers with disabilities andregardless of whether they work in special work facilities or in the open labour market. Inaddition, article 8, read in conjunction with other rights such as the right to freedom ofassociation, serves to emphasize the importance of the right of persons with disabilities toform their own organizations. If these organizations are to be effective in “the promotion and
protection of [the] economic and social interests” (art. 8 (1) (a)) of such persons, they shouldbe consulted regularly by government bodies and others in relation to all matters affectingthem; it may also be necessary that they be supported financially and otherwise so as toensure their viability.