Inclusive Disability Employment
October being National Disability Employment Month, we are excited that we are planning a campaign on Inclusive Disability Employment in Kenya.
Now more than ever it’s important to champion for the inclusion of youth with developmental disabilities at the workplace.In Kenya, individuals with developmental disabilities are most forgotten. We don’t consider them for jobs or even recognize that they could be contributing members of society, that they ought to attain maximum independence.
When I look at the statistics in Kenya 4.6% of our population make up people with disabilities that is 1.7 million people. I have googled the internet to find out what of that population make up people with developmental disabilities but there is little or lack of it documented. Only recently did we start learning or getting to learn about Autism (it’s one of the specific types of developmental disabilities). What about the rest of the types of developmental disabilities?
Youth with Developmental disabilities have so far exceeded my expectations when it comes to acquiring skills and learning new things. Through our digital skills training program we have been able to provide an opportunity for some of the youth to grow their clerical skills, some can type 40 wpm, and are good at data entry. In addition to that, we started training in knitting, and it is overwhelming to see the beautiful items being knitted by them. This are just but a few examples.
Through proper assessment,to identify what they are passionate about, we can grow a great workforce of youth with developmental disabilities, through providing quality training, proper work accomodations and job training opportunities for them to get real work skills that will assist in their integration in the workplace
Why are we advocating for employment, why is it so important for youth with developmental disabilities experience the work life? Employment is core to a person’s quality of life. Its benefits include
- Providing a means to independent living.
- Offering an opportunity to pursue interests and improve cognitive performance.
- Offering a key way for individuals to contribute to society.
- Providing a way to meet the need for inclusion and belonging.
- Employed individuals with developmental disabilities experience financial as well as emotional and health benefits when compared to unemployed individuals with developmental disabilities.
It’s important that youth with developmental disabilities are included in the Workplace, not only in the workplace but they are included in every facet of life. They need to experience quality of life, they need to be contributing members of our society. Nothing for them without them.
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