The New Times (Kigali)

5 February 2013

Rwanda: Employing PLWDs Remains a Challenge

The National Council of Persons with Disabilities (NCPD) is proposing an amendment of the presidential order governing modalities for recruiting and nominating public servants to increase chances for persons living with disabilities in the labour market.

Oswald Tuyizere, an official at the council, during an interview with The New Times, admitted the employability of Persons Living With Disabilities (PLWDs) in the country is still a challenge.

"We think the presidential order 2011 governing modalities for the recruitment, appointment and nomination of public servants should be amended to include, say, any candidate with disability who gets 70/100 [requirements for a job] gets employed," Tuyizere said.

Tuyizere said NCPD is yet to forward its proposal to concerned authorities, adding that consultation and gathering views on the matter is still ongoing.

He said when a person with disability reaches a point of getting maximum points to pass a job interview, some employers deliberately fail them, on assumption that despite the intellectual capacity they would still not perform to the desired level.

Awareness needed

Anne Mugabo, the director-general of Labour and Employment in the Ministry of Public Service and Labour, called for the need to create awareness in the public on employing persons with disabilities.

Mugabo said besides awareness, much of the labour sector still lack a disability-compatible infrastructure, including work tools such as computers.

"There is also need to get special equipment for some of cases of PLWDs, such as computers for the blind and brail machines. Offices also need to be situated in a manner that makes movement easy for the disabled," she said.

Hannington Namara, the CEO of Private Sector Federation, said they do not regulate member-companies, but they encourage them to employ people with disabilities as a corporate social responsibility.

"Different organisations have different policies and I believe they cater for people with disabilities," he said.

However, NCPD says more incentives should be introduced to encourage employers to assimilate people with disabilities into their organisations. He names some of the incentives as tax waivers.

"We also believe employers who give jobs to PLWDs should be recognised every year," Tuyizere said.

The council is also lobbying for employers in the country to consider the ability vis-à-vis work for PLWDs rather than their perceived inability.

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