In an article published earlier this week, the Global Post claims that Ecuador is in the midst of a "wheelchair revolution," which has turned it into one of the most advanced countries for disabled people in Latin America. These changes are being led by Vice President, Lenin Moreno, who has been paraplegic for more than a decade, and could be the highest ranking public official with a major disability, anywhere in the world.
Ecuador is doing some things that are already done in rich countries, like setting up ramps for the disabled in public spaces, and providing monthly stipends for people with severe mental and physical disabilities. The South American nation is also investing in prosthetic factories, as it is cheaper to produce replacement arms and legs domestically than to import them from abroad.
But there´s one thing about this story that's distinctly different. Since 2010, Ecuador has implemented a bold labor law that gets big companies in the country to set aside 4 percent of job positions for disabled workers. Under this law, the Ecuadorean government can and does impose heavy fines on companies, of 25 people or more, that do not meet the 4 percent quota.