"We are often the last to be hired and the first to be fired. Potential employers consider our disability over our qualifications and ability to deliver on jobs
The deaf are concerned that the job market is not fair to them a move they say has worsened their predicament.
"We are often the last to be hired and the first to be fired. Potential employers consider our disability over our qualifications and ability to deliver on jobs," Ambrose Murangira, Uganda National Association of the Deaf (UNAD) executive director, said.
According to Murangira, the lack of a policy by public service ministry to promote employment for marginalized groups makes it worse for people living with disabilities (PWDs) to get and retain any form of employment.
"We have been relegated to working in Disabled People's Organizations (DPOs) and in the informal sector because the chances of getting employed in the public service and mainstream organisations are very limited," he added.
Murangira, also a deaf and disability scholar was speaking at a press briefing that was attended by 20 representatives of deaf graduates sponsored by UNAD at National Theatre early this week.
"This is double jeopardy for us because to study and graduate as a deaf person means overcoming great odds only to be shunned by the job market," said Rogers Kadoma, one of the graduates.
According to the 2014 census, there are 1.083,456 deaf persons in the country. However scanty information shows that around 1% are in formal employment.
Doreen Sandra Kauma the gender and vulnerable groups' coordinator at UNAD said without affirmative action, more employers will not feel a sense of obligation to employ the deaf and PWDs as a whole.
A recent Disability Rights Coalition report suggests that employees with disabilities should at all times not be less than 5% for private employers and 10% for the public service.
However the labour market in Uganda presents multiple hurdles for the deaf and PWDs to overcome if they are to be absorbed in the job market. These range from physical access, access to information about vacancies, and self-confidence of PWDs to seek out opportunities because of the unique challenges and what society perceives them as.