By Muhammed Kakooza
According to my research on “the economic and social integration for the disabled, “the Lebanese project on the economic and social integration is considered as a model experience not only in the Arab world, but also in other countries such as Uganda can learn from it.
It was developed to integrate the disabled in the society both economically and socially by developing their functional capacities and skills. Moreover, it addresses the community and business men on the culture of integration and the diversity. It sheds light on the capabilities of the disabled people.
The area of expertise of the Lebanese project is in advocacy to raise awareness of the rights of people with disabilities and ensure their integration and participation in decision-making processes and promote equal opportunities and also in community-based development projects including physical rehabilitation, inclusive education, and vocational rehabilitation.
It is estimated that disability affects the lives of more than 600 million people globally; the majority living in developing countries.
Some estimates suggest that roughly 15 to 20 percent of poor people in developing countries are disabled. Their numbers are rising due to conflict, malnutrition, accidents, violence, communicable and non-communicable diseases including HIV/AIDS, ageing and natural disasters.
World Bank studies have revealed that Ugandan households with a disabled head are 38% more likely to be poor than households headed by a person without a disability.
Therefore, with the help of the Government and all disability organisations in Uganda, let us benefit from the Lebanese experience and we implement it in Uganda to fight unemployment among the disabled people. The Government should establish a centre under the disability ministry to help the disabled people find suitable job opportunities in the job market.
By doing that, they could carry out statistical surveys to find out the number of the disabled people who are unemployed in partnership with the disability people’s organisations hence coming up with a strategic plan for their employment either in public or private sector.
Necessary measures should be put to establish a good relationship between the disabled people and private sector in providing an appropriate means of transport for the disabled to and from their work place. Below is a proposed mechanism for employment of the disability people:
1. Receive job applications from disabled people at the above proposed centre ( office) for assessment and necessary action;
2. Formation of team to search job opportunities for the disabled;
3. Study the work place and make a detailed job profiling;
4. Match the job opportunities with available job applications;
5. Conduction of selection process;
6. Follow _ up the employees at their work place to ensure their wellbeing;
7. Make required amendments where and when necessary;
8. The Government in partnership with disability organisations should foster the culture of integration in the private sector to make them understand the problems of disabled people. With a centre is in place, the private sector should be informed of the programmes within our endeavours to promote the centre’s plans and the ultimate goal to make private companies understand that they are partners
The writer is a Ugandan deaf person at the Indira Gandhi National Open University, New Delhi
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When shall we see specialist employment for disabled people?