Employment For Disabled People

The Star reported that the “Human Resources Ministry wants private sector employers to ensure that one percent of its workforce to be those with disabilities.” Easier said than done. Unless the issues of access to public transportation and the built environment is addressed, this will remain unachiveable.

Disabled people need both to connect them to other essential services such as education and employment. Without access to these two, disabled people do not have the mobility to go anywhere, including going to school and work. Without formal education, disabled people do not have the qualification and skills to be employable.

As I see it, the government is using the bottoms down approach in many disability issues. The private sector can allocate a 1% quota for their workforce for disabled people but without proper infrastructure to support the mobility and access, the quota will remain unfilled.

Truth be told, I am fed up with reading such announcements from the government every now and then. The ministers talk and talk and talk without seriously wanting to address the real issues faced by disabled people. In November 15, 2007, the then Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had called for disabled persons be given employment. Just last year, Datuk Dr. Ng Yen Yen who as the Minister of Women, Family and Community Development was reported as saying that “a task force is being set up to encourage more disabled people to work in the public sector.”

Has the then Prime Minister’s call been heeded? What has this task force announced by Datuk Dr. Ng achieved so far? Is this task force still in existence? Is the Ministry of Human Resource involved with this task force? What is being done to address the issues of accessibility to ensure that disabled people have equal opportunities to get an education to make them qualified for employment? What is the point of making available work opportunities when many disabled people do not have proper qualifications?

The head does not know what the tail is doing. So while the various ministries come out with idea after idea to get disabled people gainfully employed, the majority of disabled people are still stuck at home uneducated, unqualified and unemployed. I bet my bottom ringgit that a year or two from now, we will read of another minister announcing unfulfilled job quotas for disabled people.1Malaysia Boleh!

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Published: Tuesday July 28, 2009 MYT 1:38:00 PM
Proposal for the disabled to be 1% of private sector workforce

KUALA LUMPUR: The Human Resources Ministry wants private sector employers to ensure that one percent of its workforce to be those with disabilities.

Deputy Minister Datuk Maznah Mazlan said Tuesday that the proposal would be forwarded to the Cabinet soon.

She said that the Government was already hiring people with disabilities but said that even the public sector had yet to fulfil the one percent quota.

“Only the Welfare Department has a 1.8 percent employment of disabled people. Other departments need to increase their employment of people with disabilities,” she said.