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Many children with disabilities in low income countries have preventable or treatable conditions but due to a lack of facilities and trained staff as well as various barriers in society, they may be unable to access the services they require
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Study on employability for persons with disabilities

Girl undergoing a computer training
© CBM
Pallavi, who is unable to speak, was recently enrolled in vocational training courses and undergoing computer training

There is a lack of evidence on the barriers faced by persons with disabilities in accessing employment opportunities in India. Therefore, CBM India and Indian Institute of Public Health, Hyderabad, part of Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) collaborated and undertook a study to ascertain the barriers to employment and employability for persons with disability in the IT and IT enabled services sector in Hyderabad, Telangana.

About the study on Employability

The main aim of the study was to work towards orienting Indian employers on disability inclusiveness and employment of persons with disabilities. It was also an attempt to make Indian societies disability inclusive by assessing both the enabling factors to employment and the barriers to employability of persons with disabilities in India.

Objectives of the study

  • To ascertain employers barriers existing among selected work sectors to employ persons with disabilities.
  • To identify physical access, information and communication access – employee barriers at workplaces for the employment of persons with disabilities. 
  • To document enabling factors among selected industry sectors, those have facilitated employment of persons with disabilities.
  • To understand the perspectives of the employers as well as persons with disabilities with respect to the provisions of the Indian Persons with Disabilities Act (1995)

Outcome

The study was conducted in six private companies who had employed persons with disabilities in their workforce. The studies were contacted in two small, two medium and two large IT companies.

A total of 147 employees with disability (EWD) were included in the study. All the respondents had a physical impairment and 91.2% of these impairments were present since birth. 53 employers from six workplaces were included in the study. More than 90% of the employers stated that they encouraged applications for all positions from persons with disabilities. Only 3.8% of the employers were aware that their company had a written policy on employing people with disabilities.

Conclusion

This study gave us some insights on the barriers that, persons with disabilities face in the course of their employment lives within the IT and ITES. It also gave us insights on the ways in which some of the key barriers were perceived by the employers vs. employees. It showed that there were significant differences in the perceptions of employers vs. employees on certain barriers to employment. As a bottom line, this study throws some light on the ways in which the industry is gearing up to the needs and requirements of the persons with disabilities. However it is still a long way to go in implementation of the provisions of the People with Disability Act 1995, in terms of reservations of jobs and awareness of the provisions in the Act.

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