Region: Americas

Disability Definition

A person with a disability is a person who has a long-term physical, mental, intellectual, or sensorial disability, which, in interaction with one or more barriers may obstruct their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with other people. Medical conditions (such as cancer, HIV/AIDS, ) are not included in the definition of disability, except if the individual was formally confirmed by Social Security Authorities.


2015 Inclusion for People with Disabilities Act Defines “disability” and complies with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). Mandates accessibility of a certain percentage of hotel rooms, taxis, etc. Signed (30 March 2007) and ratified (01 August 2008) Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Employer Legal Requirements

  • To meet a quota that ranges from 2% to 5% depending on company size.
    • fewer than 100 employees – no requirement
    • 00 to 200 employees – 2%
    • 201 to 500 employees – 3%
    • 501 to 1000 employees – 4%
    • Over 1000 employees – 5%
  • A certification of disability is required for every employee used to fill the quota.
  • Provide training for people with disabilities who lack prior job experience.
  • Offer reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities.
  • Guarantee equal pay for equal work between employees with disabilities and employees without disabilities.
  • To fulfill the quota obligation, the data/information is part of monthly mandatory forms (Cadastro Geral de Empregados e Desempregados or “CAGED”) that must be submitted to the labor authorities on a monthly basis.
  • Fines from employment authorities range from BRL 2,300 to BRL 231,000 per unfilled disabled position. The exact amount is set by the employment inspector, based primarily on (i) the company´s records in terms of compliance to the Disability Quota (i.e., if the company is a repeated offender); (ii) the company´s financial capacity; and (ii) the size of the company (i.e., number of employees).
  • Disability status may be collected during Application, After Offer and After Employment commences as employment law requires companies to keep a certain number of employees with disabilities, the company is entitled to request such information at any point.

Accessibility Requirements

ICT accessibility and reasonable accommodation are defined in the law. One of the articles of the 2015 Inclusion for People with Disabillities Act makes accessibility mandatory on websites maintained by government agencies or by companies with headquarters or commercial representation in the country. G3ict and the Government of Brazil signed an agreemen in June 2018 to Cooperate on ICT Accessibility Policies and Programs. Brazil is recognized as a leader in the ICT accessiblity community.

Cultural Norms

In Portuguese, “person with a disability” translates to “carrier of a disability.” The implication of disability’s “burden” can be interpreted to reflect cultural stigma. Employees with disabilities are more likely to face exclusion, and to expend energy repressing their persona at work, when compared to their counterparts in the US. Robust welfare systems for families of people with disabilities can result in strong familial pressure for them to stay at home, rather than pursue a path into the labor market. Social stigmas around disability in Brazil are such that depression and other mental health conditions are sometimes seen as signs of an inability to perform. One organization hosts an annual telethon based on Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon model.

Business Practices/Examples

Additional content coming soon.


Because of federal quotas, college-educated people with disabilities are highly sought after and are likely to disclose to HR. Estimated 16 Million people with disabilities in Brazil. 1 Million are in the workforce. Fully 50% of employees with disabilities in study have disclosed to HR (vs. 21% in the U.S.).

Supplier Diversity

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

Certification or Business Network is in place for LGBT-owned enterprises (NGLCC Network: Câmara de Comércio Lésbica, Gay, Bisexual e Transgênera Brasileira (CCLGBTB))

Part of the Out and Equal Global Network

Talent Sourcing Resources

Egalite assists people with disabilities to enter the labor market and companies to comply with the quota law with assertive recruitment and the construction of best practices for inclusion for people with disabilities to develop as professionals in a productive work environment for all those involved. Egalite believes in the potential of people with disabilities and the return that companies get when they do a job of including people with disabilities well done, attentive to details, processes and mainly results.

National Employment System (SINE) Placement agency of the Ministry of Labour and Employment. SINE agencies are present in all 27 Brazilian states. Services: data base with job vacancies; orientation about rights, legislation, etc.

Support Program for Persons with Disabilities (PADEF) Support placement program specifically for persons with disabilities in Sao Paulo. It provides job placement services and orientation for persons with disabilities concerning labour market, legislation, rights, etc.

IBDD Brazilian Institute for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The IBDD Incusion By Work initiative provides recruitment and selection, training and preparation, professional development, job mapping and accessility diagnostics. Visit the IBDD Talent Sourcing web page for more information: 

Center for Independent Living in Rio de Janeiro (Centro de Vida Independente do Rio de Janeiro) – Through the CVI-Rio Employability Program, provides recruitment, selection, preparation, competency development, and offers a Supported Employment model

Specialisterne Brazil – Training and employment for people with ASD and IT services for our clients

Additional Resources

National Service for Industrial Training (SENAI) SENAI Program of Inclusive Actions (PSAI) facilitates access for people with disabilities to SENAI courses. It provides books on inclusive professional education; dictionaries of Brazilian sign language with specific terms in Electronic and other industrial areas; E-learning courses about inclusion for teachers. SENAI schools provide a wide range of skills training courses.

Portal Brazil Accessibility Page with links to Brazilian accessibility mandates

Associação Brasileira Beneficiente de Reabilitação (ABBR) Network of Rehabilitation Centers with coordinated research studies

Associação Niteroiense dos Deficientes Físicos (Andef) One of the reasons that Andef was founded in 1981 was that the founder of the institution, Tania Rodrigues, was responsible for the job bank in the International Year of Disabled Persons, established by the UN. Since then, the Generation of Employment and Income has been one of the main objectives of Andef as an organization. In 2014, Andef reached the mark of 25 contracted companies, where about 800 employees with disabilities play different roles.

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.