Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Conference on Supported Employment 4 March 2010

Hiring the disabled still a low priority

2010/03/05 New Straits Times

By Lydia Gomez

KUALA LUMPUR: Only 13 government agencies are hiring disabled people despite a government circular last year to increase their number to one per cent of the civil service workforce, Deputy Women, Family and Community Minister Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun said yesterday.
This means there is a lot more work to be done to raise awareness even within the government to allow disabled people, especially those with learning disabilities, a chance to become financially independent.

Chew said it is very important for the disabled to earn a living and for employers to give them the chance.

She said the ministry had employed 109 disabled people, making up 2.67 per cent of its work force and this number was expected to increase.

"Some of the disabled do better than some of us," she said.

"There are many success stories and, in fact, many of them are bosses of companies and they contribute to income tax.
"If the disabled have the will to work and employers are willing to hire, then we can make this work."

Chew was speaking after launching a seminar on supported employment for the disabled through job coaching.

She said more awareness campaigns were needed to impart information to employers and the public to overcome problems they may face when they employed the disabled.

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