#BTColumn – Plight of staff with disabilities

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by this author are their own and do not represent the official position of Barbados TODAY Inc.

by Dennis De Peiza

The annual observance of the Month of the Disabled is intended to raise awareness of the challenges faced by people in the community who live with some form of disability.

Raising awareness among the wider community is designed to provide awareness of how best to support those individuals who were born, developed or acquired with a disability during their lifetime.

The type of illness people suffer from can contribute to a level of impairment that can limit their full and active participation in daily life, which includes work-related activities.

It is the norm for people to take things for granted and thus the thought of acquiring a disability is seldom entertained. In the workplace, many pay little attention to the risks and dangers involved in performing it
their daily chores.

Raising awareness and training workers to comply with work rules and procedures and to comply with health and safety practices in accordance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act is aimed at reducing incidents or accidents that can lead to individuals being exposed to a Acquire disability. For this reason, employees are asked to wear the appropriate personal protective equipment, which the employer is legally obliged to provide.

It is important to affirm that workers have an obligation to protect themselves while working and that they should not engage in bad practices and habits as these may lead to harm to themselves or others. The end result is some form of impairment. It seems that workers with a disability are more likely to act cautiously.

Because of the nature of the impairment and limitations, people with a disability tend to be more aware of what, how, when and where. This means they are less likely to dismiss caution.

The fact that people with a disability can be limited in any form or way does not mean that they cannot function and be productive.

The practice of excluding employees on the basis of a physical, visual, hearing or speech impaired disability is inherently discriminatory and free of prejudice.

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (May 2008) addressed the need to promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms for all persons with disabilities, and to promote respect for their inherent rights Would.

At the last count, 175 member states of the United Nations approved this convention. There is therefore cause for concern
Even so, the disabled community continues to be marginalized around the world.

This is a blatant injustice that needs to be corrected, and it is puzzling to see how the world stands ready to make the change happen. It may be time that national law provided that a job with a certain number of employees includes a minimum number of people with known disabilities.

This appears to be a solution to the growing problem of people with disabilities being denied the right to access work.

The idea that people with disabilities are best placed to explore work as entrepreneurs and as members of the third sector is neither a fair nor a fair thought.

Next, removing an employee from the workplace due to the person who has acquired a disability is another practice that needs to be carefully monitored.

According to this practice, an employee can be classified as medically incapable of working. In some cases, it raises questions about the inability of management to reassign the individual within the organization in order to retain the talents, skills and knowledge rather than exercising the option of removing the employee from the job.

Within the confines of the workplace, employees with disabilities continue to face challenges when they are constrained by the lack of wheelchair access, handrails and access to the appropriate technology to aid them in their work.

Research shows that “People with disabilities also face communication barriers, ie physical and virtual challenges in accessing and exchanging information.

Assistive technology enables people to lead healthy, productive, and independent lives, but is nowhere near available
to all. It is estimated that 360 million people worldwide suffer from moderate to severe hearing loss, but the production of hearing aids covers less than 10 percent of demand (WHO, 2016). Digital technologies can also break down traditional communication and information barriers.

However, there is evidence that the level of information and communication technology (ICT) use by people with disabilities is significantly lower than that of people without disabilities (WHO and World Bank, 2011).

In some cases, they may not even be able to get access to basic products and services such as phones, television, and the Internet. “

As increasing employment becomes an important element of the global economic recovery effort, the view is that “People with disabilities are less likely to be full-time workers and more likely to be unemployed (United Nations, 2016a and 2015c; ILO, 2014a). ”

It is hoped that employers in all sectors will undertake to apply equal treatment in the recruitment and employment of people, thereby enabling people with disabilities to work and protecting themselves from falling below the poverty line.

Dennis De Peiza is an employment and employee relations consultant on the Regional Management Services Inc website: www.regionalmanagement services.com

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