Development and implementation of a framework for estimating the economic benefits of an accessible and inclusive society
Purpose: To develop a framework for estimating the economic benefits of an accessible and inclusive society and implement it for the Canadian context. The framework measures the gap between the current situation in terms of accessibility and inclusiveness, and a counterfactual scenario of a fully accessible and inclusive society. Design/methodology/approach: The method consists of three steps. First, the conceptual framework was developed based on a literature review and expert knowledge. Second, the magnitudes for each domain of the framework was estimated for the reference year 2017 using data from various sources. Third, several sensitivity analyses were run using different assumptions and scenarios. Findings: It was estimated that moving to a fully accessible and inclusive society would create a value of $337.7bn (with a range of $252.8–$422.7bn) for Canadian society in the reference year of 2017. This is a sizeable proportion of gross domestic product (17.6%, with a range of 13.1–22.0%) and is likely a conservative estimate of the potential benefits. Originality/value: Understanding the magnitude of the economic benefits of an accessible and inclusive society can be extremely useful for governments, disability advocates and industry leaders as it provides invaluable information on the benefits of efforts, such as legislation, policies, programs and practices, to improve accessibility and inclusion of persons with disabilities. Furthermore, the total economic benefits and the benefits per person with a disability can serve as inputs in economic evaluations and impact assessments.