NGOs helping people with disability find jobs

Many groups in Bengaluru are doing their bit to bridge employers and potential employees

Lekha J (extreme left) with colleagues of The Association Of People With Disability and former students.

People with disabilities find it challenging to find employment, and NGOs are trying to make things a little better for them.

Ahead of World Day for Persons with Disabilities on December 3, Metrolife interacted with them to understand how they work.

Lekha J, programme coordinator, placements, Livelihood section, The Association Of People With Disability (APD), says they offer training courses in hospitality, BPO and retail sector. Fitters and garden supervisors are also hired from among those with disability after their specialised courses.

The NGO offers certificate courses in care-giving, rehab therapy and Indian sign language, and a diploma in office management and banking.

“We help school and PUC dropouts. After they are trained, we connect them with employers. We follow a reverse model, meeting employers to study their job needs, and then reaching out to the community,” she explains.

APD holds camps and sensitisation programmes at the village panchayat, taluk and district levels.

“Parents of disabled individuals are not sure about the credibility of organisations and also do not know where to turn to for information. Some parents neglect children with disability while others are overprotective; both cause harm. Our education system is not inclusive of disabled persons,” she observes.

A sensitisation programme for employers and job seekers by Samarthanam Trust for the Disabled.
A sensitisation programme for employers and job seekers by Samarthanam Trust for the Disabled.

Staff across organisations should be open to coworkers with disability, she urges. 

Samarthanam Trust for the Disabled provides diversified programmes. Mallikarjun, human resources lead, says, “We provide free education for students till high school. Currently we have about 500 students who come from rural backgrounds in Karnataka. Students who are speech-impaired, visually impaired or physically handicapped are all given opportunities.”

Samrathanam provides three-month programmes for those looking for jobs. “We have computer training and training for the BPO and retail sectors. Our candidates have been hired by Vindhya e-Infomedia, Capgemini and Flipkart,” he says.

To hire a visually impaired person for work on a computer, a company needs screen reader software Jaws. Samarthanam has started installing it at companies to encourage hiring of people with disability, he says.

Many companies now welcome people with disability and are reserving two per cent of their jobs for them, says Mallikurjan. 

Organisations such as Ability in Disability provide direct work opportunities. 

Shalini S, HR lead, Ability in Disability, says, “We train people with disability for assembling and packing jobs. We have centres in Adugodi, Doddaballapur, Singasandra and Hosur.” 

Its employees are mostly from the economically weaker sections. At the Adugodi centre, people from the slums of LR Nagar get employment.

“They prefer to work near where they live, since mobility is a problem,” she says. 

Work assigned is simple, but employees have to ensure quality standards. “Strict instructions are followed. We have able managers taking care and supporting people with disability. A line inspector helps assemble and label products,” she says. 

Work is outsourced by Bosch, Indo-MIM and other companies, “We have been providing jobs since 2002,” she says. 

Lack of ramps

Infrastructure is not disabled-friendly at many companies. “They have no ramps and lifts, making it difficult for the physically disabled to move around. We try to create awareness among companies,” says Mallikarjun, human resources officer, Samarthanam Trust for the Disabled.

Contact them

*The Association of People with Disability, Lingarajapuram  
Phone: 080 25475165
Email: contact@apd-india.org

*Samarthanam Trust for the Disabled, J P Nagar
Phone: 9480809586
Email: info@samarthanam.org 

*Ability in Disability, Adugodi
Phone: 080 2211 4477

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NGOs helping people with disability find jobs

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