Dis­abled work­force urged to speak up

7 Days in Dubai - - NEWS - @Sar­watNasir sar­wat@7days.ae

Com­pa­nies that dis­crim­i­nate against peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties need to be re­ported to the au­thor­i­ties, a govern­ment of­fi­cial has said.

Dr Shaikha Alia Al Qasimi, Act­ing CEO of the So­cial Care and De­vel­op­ment Sec­tor at the Com­mu­nity De­vel­op­ment Au­thor­ity (CDA), has re­ceived com­plaints about a lack of pro­mo­tions for those with a dis­abil­ity, though she did not state how many.

Al Qasimi was speak­ing on the side­lines of the launch of a new ca­reers net­work by Emi­rates NBD to help dis­abled peo­ple find jobs.

Al Qasimi said: “Some of the com­plaints are lack of pro­mo­tion, some­times they get [told] that they lack the skills.”

She said it is the “re­spon­si­bil­ity of each or­gan­i­sa­tion” to put a train­ing plan in place to en­sure dis­abled em­ploy­ees are not left be­hind.

She said: “Peo­ple with dis­abil­ity should not be ex­cluded.”

In 2014, Law No 2 was is­sued to en­sure a com­pany can­not turn an ap­pli­cant down or By Sar­wat Nasir dis­crim­i­nate against them be­cause of a dis­abil­ity, though no penal­ties were listed at the time. The CDA ne­go­ti­ates be­tween the com­pany and worker in ques­tion.

The Emi­rates NBD data­base has 100 peo­ple who are ready for the work­place.

But Sara Baker, from Dubai Autism Cen­tre, be­lieves that there is a “miss­ing link” be­tween such cen­tres and com­pa­nies.

Baker said: “Autism is very chal­leng­ing but it’s not im­pos­si­ble. Com­pa­nies need to work with spe­cial needs cen­tres. Our kids look okay, but if they start get­ting their ticks and start mov­ing, then so­ci­ety be­comes afraid of them.”

Although Baker feels there has been progress in terms of hir­ing, the steps for­ward have been “very slow”.

Of the 51 adults at the cen­tre, three are train­ing for a job they will be start­ing soon.

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