The Private Sector has been encouraged to include the People with Disability in their business because their physical disability does not affect their brain.
In different platforms organized to discuss this matter, the Rwanda Private Sector Federation (PSF) joined by partners including United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the National Commission of People with Disability (NCPD), the private sector was challenged to understand that disability is not inability.
The participants’ discussions were backed by figures whereby nearly one million people in Rwanda are people with disability.
Slightly above the average of them (51%) completed Primary school and 15% Secondary school while university graduates represent 1%.
The unemployment among the people with disability stands at 23% and illiteracy, at 30%.
Advocates at this meeting recommended, that in front of these figures, employers should find a working formula to make sure that people with disability are not left behind.
“Our suggestion is that we do not always ask them to go to school; we are proposing a learning-by-doing approach. Business people should give them internship so that they can learn from workplace,” said Emile Vuningabo, in charge of entrepreneurship and social affairs at the National Union of Disability Organizations in Rwanda.
“Sometimes you find that the workplace has better enabling environment than schools for the people with disability. Employers will buy needed equipment if they find that one of the employees who has disability needs it to perform, while schools may not always find necessarily equipment for their studies.”
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) provides the legal framework for global disability response and disability inclusive development, according to a presentation that was made by Clément Kirenga in charge of inclusive leadership at UNDP.
Adopted in 2006, came into force in 2008. So far, 164 have signed the convention while 184 countries have ratified the CRPD. Rwanda accessed UNCRPD in 2015.
“People will tend to give people with disability different treatment compared to others at workplace-for example imposing extra time with a thinking that they do not go at the same pace with the rest. It’s wrong,” Kirenga said.
With this in mind, he requested the general public to employ people with disability, and to avoid inconveniencing them whenever they happen to secure a working opportunity.
Jean Marie Vianney Mukeshimana from the Masaka Resource for the Blind, an organization that seeks to integrate the blind said that there are still several challenges where a blind, even when they have skills, during recruitment, the employers disqualify them.
“They will have calculations and say: if I employ them, I will have to buy more equipment that are tailored to their disability,” Mukeshimana said.
“By the way, employing us is an asset; when I sit on a computer, I work without any distraction on social media or any other things. We deliver beyond expectations.”
The meeting was attended by 18 members of PSF out of more than 40 members. Representatives of People with disability suggested that in future meetings, telecom companies, microfinances and food industry like Inyange should be there.
The UNDP said that they support global disability response and disability inclusive development through projects with government of Rwanda and NCPD, the Private sector through PSF and civil society organizations like NUDOR.
They suggest that policy and legal framework should provide equitable access to services (finance, business practices) and dedicated projects to empower People with disabilities.