An increasing number of people with disabilities are gaining employment, although the ratio is not as “brilliantly hued” as it could be, President of the Senate Kerryann Ifill said.
Delivering the keynote address Tuesday at a seminar at the Ministry of Labour on Empowering and Engaging Workers with Disabilities, Ifill said employment opportunities for the disabled were increasing, pointing to the Ministry of Labour’s own vision of an inclusive workforce.
“More and more companies are making efforts to retain their employees who have become disabled, while others actively seek out employees with disabilities. The Ministry of Labour itself espouses in its vision the desire to engender a workforce that does not only provide decent work for Barbadians, but specifically states that such a workforce must include employees with disabilities,” the visually impaired Ifill said at the event sponsored by the Congress of Trade Unions and Staff Associations of Barbados (CTUSAB).
“As you engage with the community of persons with disabilities today, do not let it end here. Do not leave the work to CTUSAB, Barbados National Organization for the Disabled, the National Disability Unit, and the National Council for the Disabled. Take the lessons learnt with you. Take the testimonies shared here today and weave them into the tapestry of your own work places, and by so doing you will assist in empowering a community within our society to realize their obligation to build a better Barbados. It would assist the disabled community to fulfil their dreams to make our society totally inclusive of all, while affording them to have the opportunity to exercise and exhibit their pride and industry.”
The senator told delegates drawn from both Government and the private sector, it was important to recognize that the disabled community had a valuable contribution to make to the country.
Ifill said research had shown that employing a person with a disability adds value to an organization, and that employers were realizing that hiring persons with disabilities did not only make them feel good, but was good business also.