Education, employment for people with disabilities govt’s 1st priority: Satyapal Singh

New Delhi | Empowering people with disabilities by ensuring proper education and employment opportunities for them is this government’s number one priority, Union Minister Satyapal Singh has said.

Presiding over the NCPEDP-Mindtree Helen Keller Awards 2018, here on Sunday, he said only one per cent of the people with disabilities get to go to schools. “To address this issue, the government has recently announced five per cent reservation for people with disabilities in all kinds of educational institutions,” the Union Minister of State for Human Resource Development said. “People with disabilities require real empowerment through the right kind of education and suitable employment, Singh said.

Arman Ali, the executive director of the National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP) said, “If we provide equal opportunities and reasonable accommodation, all jobs are suitable for persons with disabilities.” “Yes, it is true that everybody can’t do everything, but we know of autistic people involved in software testing,” he said.

Ali said the IT industry’s one per cent staff are people with disabilities, which is much more than other sectors, and asserted that NASSCOM companies should work with those who build affordable technologies for the disabled.

With a little innovation, every phone can become a hearing aid. Such progressive thinking is needed to fundamentally change the outlook towards employment of persons with disabilities, he said. Ali also highlighted the concerns regarding lack of data about people with disabilities and that census 2021 would be crucial to obtaining the same.

At the event, seven people and five organisations, who have contributed to promoting employment opportunities for persons with disabilities in India, received the NCPEDP-Mindtree Helen Keller Awards 2018, under three categories.

In the first category, the contribution of people with disabilities and others who have been acting as ambassadors of the cause of employment for disabled people and are a positive role model are recognised at the award, NCPEDP said in a statement. The second category include those who have contributed substantially to the cause of promoting employment opportunities for the disabled people over an extended period of time.

Under the third category, organisations from the disability sector or outside who have shown their commitment towards promoting equal employment opportunities for people with disabilities are awarded, they said.

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