Region: Americas

Disability Definition

Any persons who, as a result of one or more temporary or permanent physical, mental — whether the cause is psychosocial or intellectual — or sensory impairments, find that their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others is hindered or limited by different barriers encountered in their surroundings.

The emphasis is now on ability to function and independent living rather than on treatment.


After the return of democracy in the early 90s, generated enactment in 1994, the first legal framework that benefits people with disabilities in Chile, Law 19,284. It should be noted that this legal framework was replaced in 2010, by Law 20,422 that establishes Standards on Equal Opportunities and Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities and the National Service for Persons with Disabilities (SENADIS), tasked with coordinating the activities and social services, offering job placement support and defending rights. SENADIS is decentralized both geographically and operationally.

This law indicates fundamental principles such as “participation and social dialogue” and that individuals with disabilities, their families and relevant organizations should have an active role in the development of respective public policies. This law is based on principals of independent living, universal accessibility, universal design, intersectorality, participation and social dialogue. Moreover, law 20,422 indicates that individuals covered by the National Disability Policy will have the right to file before the General Comptroller of the Republic if they experience an obstruction to their rights.

Ratified the Inter-American Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities.

In 2008, signed the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its optional protocol.

Employer Legal Requirements

Reasonable accommodation must be provided for persons with disabilities in the workplace of all companies having 10 or more employees.

Article 154 (7) of the Labour Code equire by-laws contain specific rules for all necessary reasonable accommodation and support services to enable workers with disabilities to perform their tasks appropriately.

Apprenticeship contracts are a special kind of employment contract that is regulated by the Labour Code and can be entered into only by persons under the age of 21. Pursuant to article 47 of the Act, persons with disabilities may enter into such contracts regardless o

Accessibility Requirements

Requirements of accessibility that must be met by goods, environments, products, services and procedures, as well as nondiscrimination in standards, criteria and practices, in accordance with the principle of universal accessibility.

Reasonable accommodation is defined as the adjustments made to the physical and social environment and attitudes in order to meet the specific needs of persons with disabilities and thereby effectively and practically facilitate accessibility or participation of persons with disabilities on an equal basis with other citizens, without imposing a disproportionate burden.

Architectural accessibility has made significant progress. Communication accessibility has made progress. Transportation accessibility remains a significant challenge in many areas.

Cultural Norms

Moving from the classical approach of charity centered on the biomedical, to one based on human rights, which recognizes children, young people and adults with disabilities, as subjects of law and not of charity , putting the accent on social barriers, rather than on the deficiency that we can present in a permanent or transitory way, since it is precisely these, which exacerbate exclusion, obstructing true and real integration.

In April 2016, the UN reported “remaining pejorative terminology in the Chilean legislation.” issues of “accessibility of public areas to persons with disabilities,” “violence and cruel treatment against persons with disabilities, institutionalization of such persons without their consent, and the treatment of women with disabilities.”

Again in 2016, the UN asked Chilean leaders about the concept of “reasonable accommodation”, role of organizations of persons with disabilities, combating negative stereotypes, disaster risk reduction, and the using of telethons for charity campaigns to help persons with disabilities. Other issues raised included teaching of the sign language, access of persons with disabilities to the labour market, their participation in political life and steps taken by the State party to eliminate poverty among that population.

Business Practices/Examples

Additional content coming soon.


Since its creatoin in 1992, the SOFOFA Disability Commission has promoted the establishment of Communal Disability Councils (CCD) throughout the country, whose function is to constitute a network of communal and local support in the design and implementation of policies for the benefit of the disabled.

Chile 2004 Study reported the precarious situation of people with disabilities consulted at that time, more than 94% of young people and adults over 24 years, had never received health care and rehabilitation by virtue of their disability.

The participation rate of people with disabilities, 26 percent, is half the participation rate among individuals who are not disabled, 59%. These numbers support the case that individuals with disabilities are an underutilized segment of the labor force in Chile.

In 2014, Chile had set up an advisory committee on the social inclusion of persons with disabilities, which included members of organizations of persons with disabilities. The establishment of the Disability Under-Secretariat by the Government illustrated its commitment to the issue.

Supplier Diversity

Certification is in place for women-owned business enterprises (WeConnect).

Chile hosted first Regional Conference in December 2018 on Supplier Diversity and Inclusion for Latin America and the Caribbean.

Talent Sourcing Resources

National Foundation for the Disabled (fnd) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to help create favorable conditions for the full social integration of people with disabilities and their families. Through Promotion and Education, fnd carries out specific actions that seek to rescue human dignity with a concept of integral rehabilitation. fnd also operates a talent sourcing program with over 12 years of experience. Learn more here:

TACAL Foundation – Provides labor inclusion and training supports through an extensive networkl. The connections with external organizations nourish the institutional work, making Fundación TACAL a benchmark around the development of work models. Currently work with a wide and diverse network, including more than 100 public and private companies committed to the labor inclusion of people with disabilities. Member companies include Aramark, Mars, Intercontinental helps companies to hire talent with disabilities. Since the organization started, they helped more than 1,300 people with disabilities find and secure a job. helps people with disabilities find jobs in order to have a fair opportunity to support themselves and their families just like any other person. They operate in Argentina, Chile, Peru, Paraguay, Colombia, and Mexico. Learn more at:

Additional Resources

SecoChile Oriented to the cleaning of vehicles, but also to labor integration, to the protection of the environment and to the care of non-renewable natural resources, such as water.

SOFOFA With a well-known management in the country and in Ibero America, the Sociedad de Fomento Fabril -SOFOFA- is a leading organization in establishing and fostering partnerships with the public sector and civil society in the field of disability. Inspired by a comprehensive approach to social responsibility, the Disability Commission , founded by SOFOFA in 1992, seeks to identify and stimulate opportunities for social and labor integration in Chile for people with disabilities.

SOFAFA Disability Commission Executive
Secretary: Jorge Carrasco E-mail: [email protected]

The Latin American Network of Non-Governmental Organizations of Persons With Disabilities and their Families (RIADIS) is a network formed by organizations of persons with disabilities from 19 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. Formed in 2002, RIADIS represents national DPOs as well as several NGOs acting as technical collaborators.


fnd Disability Chile

Work and Disability: “The employment situation of the disabled in Chile” Author: Miriam Rubin – Sociologist Boston University, United States / June 2007 Study sponsored by the National Foundation for the Disabled – Chile Lange, A. (2014).

Public Policy Lessons from Chile: Individuals with Disabilities – An Untapped Talent Pool (2nd ed., Vol. 19, pp. 29 – 41). Washington, D.C.: Georgetown Public Policy Review. 1083-7523 [ISSN]

UN Chile Report

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