Currently, 650 million people in the world live with physical disabilities (International Labor Organization, 2015). They are fairly considered one of the most vulnerable social categories. The problem of employment is especially vital for these people since they often cannot undertake jobs intended for healthy individuals. Such people are often segregated from healthy workers and discriminated at workplaces. However, they should not be excluded from the regular workforce since it is possible to adapt the job market to the needs of people with disabilities. This paper focuses on the topic of employment of people with special needs. The study, in particular, focuses at the international organizations that are responsible for the provision of jobs for vulnerable employees as well as the legislation that defines the rights of persons with disabilities. The research also is intended to describe an example of successful promotion of jobs for such individuals that was achieved by the Handicap Care Center in Abu Dhabi.
International Labor Organization
The United Nations Organization has been trying to protect the rights of disabled people for the last three decades. Due to its effort, persons with disabilities have received an opportunity to get jobs and freely choose their way of living. The International Labor Organization (ILO) is one of the UN institutions that attempt to equally protect the rights of all employers and workers in order to maintain social justice. Individuals with special needs are one of the organization’s primary concerns. Currently, the ILO’s work agenda states that they should be able to work like any other members of the society (International Labor Organization, 2015). A physical disability does not make a person as a worse professional. Many people with disabilities can become highly useful to their professional field due to their knowledge and experience. Thus, providing jobs for such workers will bring a significant benefit to the economy. However, the job search is extremely difficult for them since few companies are ready to provide special working conditions that would correspond to the needs of disabled employees (International Labor Organization, 2015).
The main principles of job promotion for the disabled are outlined in the ILO Disability Inclusion Strategy and Action Plan 2014-17 (International Labor Organization, 2015). The ILO has a twofold approach to people with disabilities. On the one hand, it initiates and supports various programs intended at overcoming barriers and obstacles to disability inclusion (International Labor Organization, 2015). It implies, first of all, working with employers and encourages them to pay attention to disabled professionals on an equal basis with healthy workers. On the other hand, the ILO attempts to make people with special needs feel included into a mainstream working industry. The organization actively promotes various professional training programs, poverty reduction initiatives, and labor protection schemes (International Labor Organization, 2015). All these measures are supposed to cover the whole spectrum of social activities. The ILO also intends to create an international standard of disability inclusion as well as a uniform system of its control. This idea seems to be highly useful since it would ensure that disabled people are not discriminated and have equal opportunities for the job search. The ILO often underlines that individuals with special needs contain one-sixth of working age population, and their inclusion into the labor market seems to be absolutely essential to the economy of any country (European Commission, 2015). Disabled workers are supposed to have higher levels of retention. That is why hiring such people can reduce the costs of turnover (United Nations Human Rights, 2015). Moreover, disabled people are often more committed to their jobs than healthy workers; and their performance is highly efficient (United Nations Human Rights, 2015). The UN should support the activity of the ILO and contribute to its initiatives. For example, it could enhance opportunities for rehabilitation and adaptation of the disabled ones to living in the community. It could also implement some measures concerning disability prevention.
The Convention of Rights of Persons with Disabilities
The rights of disabled employees are protected by numerous legislative acts. The UN Convention of Rights of Persons with Disabilities is one of the main ones. Its purpose is to provide an opportunity for disabled people to use the rights of the mainstream population. Being in the minority, individuals with special needs often have to struggle for a decent way of living. The Convention is supposed to ensure that all members of community have a chance to live a full life. It is not related to no matter what their health condition might be (Division for Social Policy and Development Disability, 2014). The Convention does not create any new rights; it only ensures the uniform employment of common human rights in relation to disabled persons, the right to work being one of them. The Convention has several prior fields of actions that should be taken in order to favorable employment conditions for persons with disabilities. These priorities include accessibility, participation, equality, education and training, social protection, and so on (Division for Social Policy and Development Disability, 2014). Disabled people should have an easy access to suitable workplaces with decent salaries. They have the right to take part in all the activities at the workplace on a regular basis and on the equal terms with other employees. In addition, they have the possibility to develop their professional skills and improve their training in order to advance their career (Division for Social Policy and Development Disability, 2014).
Zayed Higher Organization
Zayed Higher Organization for Humanitarian Care and Special Needs (ZHO) is a government institution intended to improve the position of disabled people and motivate them to be active social members (Abu Dhabi E-Government, 2015). Its main purpose is to involve persons with disabilities into the community and provide them with medical support and favorable conditions for rehabilitation (Abu Dhabi E-Government, 2015). The ZHO is aware of the unemployment issue and strives to find suitable workplaces for disabled individuals. The organization provides employment services and helps the disabled with job search. Moreover, the ZHO attempts to create new workplaces for them. For example, the organization has launched an employment program at purpose-built factories where workers with special needs could feel comfortable and reveal their professional potential (Daiani, 2011). The program has also included provision of therapy and rehabilitation services to disabled workers (Dajani, 2011). In particular, the ZHO provides services to people who have recently lost limbs (Dajani, 2011). The ZHO also conducts a profound scholarly research on the topic of disability. The results of these studies are usually discussed at the annual Abu Dhabi International Conference of Special Needs (Abu Dhabi E-Government, 2015).
Handicap Care Center in Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi Handicap Care Center is an organization that provides a huge range of services for people with various types of disability. It provides services both for people with mental and physical limitations (Nowais, 2015). The center helps disabled individuals to ajust to living in the community and feel as active members of the society. This goal is achieved by various means, including medical and psychological care as well as providing opportunities for enterntainment and personal development. For instance, the center has introduced a special program for helping the disabled fulfil their wishes (Nowais, 2015). It has included organizing trips abroad for disabled children, attending various cultural and sport events, arranging meetings with famous people, and so on (Nowais, 2015). The specialists of the center suppose that such activities serve as an effective psychological therapy that help persons with special needs feel worthy and make them understand the following issue. It is possible to live a normal life no matter how serious their disability is (Nowais, 2015). The center also organizes special sport events for persons with disabilities and encourages their versatile personal development (Nowais, 2015). Moreover, it attempts to increase public awareness about disability and introduces various education programs. They are intended for persons with disabilities as well as for healthy people who want to learn how to help the disabled overcome their problems, how to interact with them, and how to provide suitable conditions for work and leisure (Abu Dhabi E-Government, 2015). Some of these educational programs concern more specific issues, such as raising a disabled child or hiring a disabled person (Nowais, 2015). In general, it can be stated that the activity of the Handicap Care Center in Abu Dhabi is a perfect example of how the governmental structures can support citizens with special needs.
Unemployment is a vital issue for many people with disabilities. The attempts to solve this problem have been undertaken by various international organizations. Practical steps taken by Zayed Higher Organization and the Handicap Center in Abu Dhabi serve as the convincing evidence. Therefore, it is possible to improve the position of disabled people on the labor market. However, persons with disabilities still remain an extremely vulnerable social category. Their participation in the labor market is often limited by a variety of external and internal factors. The employers are not eager to hire disabled persons because of a number of prejudices concerning poor efficiency of such workers or large expenses on the provision of suitable working conditions for them. That is why it is important to understand that these individuals have the same rights as other people. Governments should ensure that they are treated on equal terms in all spheres of their social activities, including work and job search.
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