This present study is one of the agenda items of the plan of action 1996-2000 of the
Women’s Committee of the Asian Blind Union. Blind persons and their organizations
around the world have united under a single forum known as ‘World Blind Union’
(WBU). The members of this forum represent over 165 countries of the world. For the
purpose of management, the WBU has divided itself into seven regions. The
organizations belonging to Asian countries constitute the ‘Asian Blind Union’ (ABU).
The WBU and ABU have several Standing Committees that look into specific issues
concerning the empowerment and full integration of persons with blindness.
Employment holds a significant place in the ladder of not just `success’ in life but the survival itself for people with disabilities as it offers them, in the least, a chance to lead a dignified life and an opportunity to create an identity for themselves in their own mind and their sphere of family, friends and the society at large.
However, owing to a range of factors such as poverty, lack of proper education, inaccessibility, inappropriate training, it has been a long and tough struggle to make employment possible for them in India.
For people with visual impairments, the problem in employment is even more complicated as the stigmas and taboos associated with their disability are even greater than other common disabilities that makes it that much more difficult to convince employers to include them in the pool of human resources at the workplace.
This study on the employment of people with disabilities(PWD’s) in the private sector in India was undertaken in 2014 by the American India Foundation (AIF), supported by a team of sighted and visually impaired researchers and experts from the NAB Centre for Blind Women & Disability Studies, a unit od National Association for the Blind, Mumbai.
The report has been compiled on the basis of primary research covering 105 small, medium and large companies in selected sectors employing persons with disabilities, their level of engagement, policies and practices in place.
As we are already aware, the job scenario for people with disabilities in India needs a
lot of work as of now. Apart from the government organisations, only a few corporates have started employing PWDs but these are mostly people with lesser and mild physical impairments or hearing impairment. People with visual impairment are left out again due to lack of awareness and other related factors such as non-compatibility of the software etc.
One of the primary reasons is that the corporates have almost nil awareness as to how a visually impaired person can be included in their high-demand job sector. On the other end, the VI people themselves are unaware of how to equip themselves to work in Corporate.