DISABILITY AND EMPLOYMENT- TWO SIDES OF STORY

With the increase in awareness regarding issues relating to the rights of persons with disabilities, a lot of efforts are being made to ensure that children with disabilities get quality education. Even the government has taken steps to ensure that children with disabilities not only get quality education but get to study with other kids in the same school and in the same environment as any other child would get to study. But whereas with the increase in facilities for the education of children with disabilities, the number of such people getting education is increasing but with very little employment opportunities available to them, they can hardly make effective use of what they have learnt.

Not only in developing countries like India where certain data indicates that the level of employment among persons with disabilities is 0.01% of the total population of this section, the level of employment among them is very low even in developed countries. Those working in the sector point out that even in developed countries, more than 50% of this section of people remains unemployed. While gainful employment is vital concern for persons with disabilities, there are many factors, which influence the level of employment among persons with disabilities.

A group engaged in the field of disability and rehabilitation in United Kingdom recently conducted a study on the low level of employment among persons with disabilities and the reasons behind such a scenario. The findings of this group indicate that there are different reasons for persons with disabilities not getting opportunities in the work field. While some reasons for it are not disability specific like not getting a chance to study and move ahead in life but there were more disability specific reasons like physical and attitudinal barriers, which proved as hindrance for such people.

What is ironical about disability and employment is that the family members tend to discourage persons with disabilities from seeking open employment because they feel it will make them vulnerable and discourage them when they are not able to meet its requirements. Having been discouraged by their family and friends, not many persons with severe disabilities actually even make an effort to go out and seek employment,

Whereas on one hand, the opportunities for such people are very limited, on the other hand, many persons with disabilities seeking employment themselves don’t like to work with employers, who are either unaware or insensitive towards their needs. In countries like United Kingdom, persons with disabilities like to know whether an employer, who is giving a job to a person with disabilities has some prior knowledge about disability or if provided a chance, whether he is willing to learn about the condition of the people he is working with. Persons with disabilities point out that only certain specific industries have provided them with opportunities which are in accordance with their disabilities and therefore while going out to seek employment, they give preference to these industries.

While the knowledge about disability is helpful if you are seeking the services of a person with disabilities, but it may be wrong to call it a necessity. If you are s open-minde person, you can learn about disability even while they are working with you and provide them services accordingly.

So, lets make a beginning and provide an opportunity to a person with disabilities in your organization and soon you will find that he serves as an asset for you, which you can be proud of.

ALOK SIKKA
Note- This Is A Copied Article
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