Region: Europe

Disability Definition

According to the Disability Discrimination Act, a person with a disability is defined as “a person who, due to a physical, mental or psychological impairment which is likely to be permanent, finds it difficult or is unable to carry out everyday tasks, cultivate social contacts, move around, obtain an education or training, or work.”


Switzerland has the Disability Discrimination Act, enacted on December 13, 2002, and amended January 1, 2017. The purpose of the law is to prevent, reduce or eliminate discrimination suffered by persons with disabilities. This Act sets framework conditions that make it easier for people with disabilities to participate in social life and, in particular, to independently cultivate social contacts, to gain further education, and to gain gainful employment.


Switzerland’s Federal Constitution identifies that no one should be discriminated against due to a disability. The Disability Discrimination Act, which came into force in 2004, continues to regulate the services of the common denominator. These must also be accessible for people with disabilities.

Switzerland signed (13 December 2006), ratified (15 April 2014) and came into effect (15 May 2014) the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Switzerland has not adopted the optional protocol.

Employer Legal Requirements

The Disability Discrimination Act/Disability Equality Act says the following about employing PwD: “The Confederation shall make every effort to offer persons with disabilities the same opportunities as those without disabilities. In all employment relationships and at all levels, but in particular in the case of employment vacancies, the Confederation shall take the measures required to implement the Act.”

Accessibility Requirements

The Federal Act on the Elimination of Discrimination against People with Disabilities (or Disability Discrimination Act, DDA) lays down general accessibility conditions that make it easier for people with disabilities to participate in society and in particular to cultivate social contacts independently, and to have access to basic and advanced education and training and to employment.

Cultural Norms

“In Switzerland, people with disabilities are generally viewed as individuals with potential and talents, who deserve to be treated with respect and dignity. There is a general awareness of the issues faced by people with disabilities, and the government, as well as the private sector, is committed to providing equal opportunities to them. There is a growing emphasis on the inclusion of people with disabilities in all aspects of life, including education, employment, and social participation. However, like in any other country, there are still some negative attitudes towards people with disabilities in Switzerland, such as pity, fear, and a lack of understanding.”

Reference: Switzerland – Disability – Expat Focus

Business Practices/Examples

Additional content coming soon.


Self-determination and the participation of people with disabilities are also promoted by the welfare state integration policy, for example in the context of disability insurance or by the improved accessibility to buildings or public transport. The Federal Council Report of 2018 is groundbreaking in this regard.


According to an alternate source, “around 1.8 million people in Switzerland, out of a population of 8.6 million, live with a disability. Among them, the Swiss Federation of Deaf People estimates there are 10,000 deaf people in Switzerland and a further 800,000 classified as hard of hearing in a population of 8.6 million. According to a study by the Swiss National Association of and for Blind People, around 337,000 visually impaired people lived in Switzerland last year: around 4% of the Swiss population.”

Reference: Swiss disabled groups launch initiative for greater inclusion – SWI swissinfo.ch

Supplier Diversity

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

Talent Sourcing Resources

Procap: Works for inclusion, including access to jobs for its members. Procap is the largest member association of and for people with disabilities in Switzerland. Our self-help organization today has more than 21,000 members in around 40 regional sections and 30 sports groups.

Additional Resources

Federal Bureau for the Equality of People with Disabilities (FBED).


As a united voice, Inclusion Handicap represents the common interests of 23 organizations and their members towards the authorities, politics and business. As an umbrella organization, Inclusion Handicap coordinates cooperation with key players at national, inter-cantonal and international levels.


Swiss Association of the Deaf (The Swiss Deaf Federation) is a national umbrella organization. Since 1946 it has been working for the equality of people with hearing impairment.


Swiss National Association of and for the Blind (SNABLIND) provides support servies for blind, visually impaired, deafblind individuals. Also, train professionals in our courses and seminars to enable them to offer blind, visually impaired and deafblind people the best possible support.


Work Integration Switzerland is the national branch organization for questions of vocational and social integration. Work Integration Switzerland represents the concerns of its members towards politics, business and society and actively supports the positive image of integration services. Membership organization that has online job postings.

Handicap International Swiss National Association promotes the professional integration of people with disabilities – often excluded and without resources – in the local socioeconomic fabric, by supporting individual or collective projects (development of agricultural activities, creation of a bicycle repair shop, sewing, etc.) and facilitating access to bank loans. It also makes companies aware of the employment of people with disabilities.


Additional content coming soon.
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