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REAL WORLD VS SHELTERED WORLD
The number of people with disabilities rises every day and one of main factor steers to the fact that the survival rate from accidents are higher with more advanced medical technology nowadays. This contributes to the rising percentage of People with disabilities through either by birth, old age or the above reason, but are there enough employment policies to protect them and what are the employments issues are they facing? About 5% of the population or 100,000 people in Singapore have disabilities (Singapore Press Holdings 2012). People with disabilities (PWDs) have needs which are not very different from those of other able-bodied persons. Some of them can lead normal lives with certain adjustments which others may need a higher level of care and attention. (Ministry of Community Development, Policies - People with Disabilities 2011) PWDs can be encouraged to achieve self-reliance and a sense of self-esteem through employment as it plays a significant social and economic function for individuals within a society. Many require training and employment facilitation and support services for sustainable employment. (Ministry of Community Development, MCYS 2012) This paper aims to analysis the employment issues related to disabled persons and various strengths and weakness.
Majority of the adults with disabilities are unemployed even though they have the willingness to work and contribute to society. There are four job placement agencies in Singapore that focus and function as a main support to PWDs are: Autism Resource Centre, Bizlink Centre, MINDS and Society for the Physically Disabled. These agencies provide facilities and services to help PWDs find employed work and there are a sufficient number of them., What is lacking is the number of jobs available by the private sector that allow PWDs to apply for. Not all companies are open to employing PWDS as there are many factors for this which may include; not having the ability or manpower to train a disabled person, the company organisation is not a suitable environment, PWDs may lack of certain skills or the ability to do specific tasks which is required as it is the company’s main function and more. The table below is a survey of the United Kingdom survey on what problems and difficulties do companies face when recruiting disabled people.
Table 1, Source (Goldstone 2002)
Unsuitable type of work and the lack of a suitable environment with facilities to cater to disable people make up a big portion of the table with regards to the difficulties faced by some employers whom are not looking at hiring PWDs. A shocking 2% felt that there might be discrimination and prejudices towards to them and do not wish to invite that into the company.
Instead of going down the legislative route, Singapore has set up the Tripartite Alliance for Fair Employment Practices (TAFEP) which is an alliance between the three parties – employers, unions and the government. This is to promote fair employment practices that employers can implement to prevent discrimination in the workplace (Veron 2011). Disabled people will be working on a fair ground whereby employers and superiors are not allowed to terminate them on baseless grounds and any form of harassment will not be tolerated.
Only a workplace with a diverse workface is more receptive and embracing towards PWDs employees. The organisation will then be able to be more flexible and make some adjustments to improve the environment for them to work in. This is lacking in majority of the companies in Singapore as there are very few policies or standards implemented which includes disabled people. One company that...
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