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People with disabilities face barriers to employment

2020-10-28  Albertina Nakale

People with disabilities face barriers to employment
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Although various government offices, ministries and agencies seem to employ persons with disabilities, most of them are employed in low and middle-level positions such as clerks or labourers. 

Employment of persons with disabilities in various institutions is, however, very low in comparison with the total workforce of institutions. 
This is contained in the annual report 2017/18 of the National Disability Council of Namibia. 
The report, tabled in the National Assembly, indicates observations reflect most institutions do not accommodate the educational and developmental needs of persons with disabilities, including the need to provide bursaries. 
However, it states a few institutions do provide in-service training to staff members who are living with disabilities.                                                                                                                                                              
It has been noted the majority of offices, ministries and agencies do not have policies, programmes and action plans in place to address and include the needs of persons with disabilities within their institutions.
The report highlighted that institutions also do not budget to address the needs of persons with disabilities, while those with action plans in place find it difficult to implement such without budgetary provisions made.
The report also assessed access to infrastructures and it has been observed that most institutions are still struggling with making all their infrastructures accessible to all persons with various types of disabilities.

However, most institutions either have accessible abolition facilities and no parking for a person with disabilities.
“None of the institutions complied with the disability minimum conditions, with some falling very far behind others,” the report indicated.
Some reports are inadequately completed or poorly presented and filled out, thus falling short in providing the required information. The report stresses this could be due to the way the questionnaire is crafted or the reluctance of the institutions to seriously address or pronounce themselves on the issues raised.

According to the report, accommodation of persons with disabilities is needed across all institutions, with complete absence or inadequate modifications to infrastructure and other facilities.
Equally, no independent verification of information provided by institutions was done, while analysts relied solely on the reports provided to them by the council secretariat.

Although most institutions employ persons with disabilities, the report found that it was difficult based on the information provided to assess whether they are employed in the right positions at the right levels such as management.
“As almost all institutions are falling behind with compliance to the minimum conditions, no institutions could be recommended for a compliance certificate. Most reports are not well presented, as there is some information missing; however, it generally felt that most of the institutions completed the reports because they were obliged but not to provide concrete conclusions and actions thereof,” the report stated. 

2020-10-28  Albertina Nakale

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