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National Federation of the Disabled commented on Get Hired! - Employment Support Program for Persons with Disabilities

You are welcome Ashley Tillman 

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National Federation of the Disabled commented on Get Hired! - Employment Support Program for Persons with Disabilities

Hello OpenIDEO team,
Thanks for sharing the experts feedback for our idea. All these feedbacks have encouraged all of us here at National Federation of Disabled, Nepal in Kathmandu.
One of the questions you have put forward is about sustainability. In our organization we are implementing this idea (in much smaller scale) since one year and we are coming to end. Now the question of sustainability is more important than ever and during various feedback meetings with stakeholders during the improve phase, we have thought of one idea. There is a federation of Nepalese chamber of commerce and industries (FNCCI) in Nepal and it is a central hub for business people (employers). Inside FNCCI there is a committee called Employers Council. So our friends from business community has shown us the way to incorporate our model in that employer’s council at the end of our project. They have pointed us that we can lobby for a unit that will be responsible for inclusive employment inside that employer’s council. Once it is there, disability community can lobby with them for various program, activities and intervention with them in future.

Another idea that we are thinking currently is establishing a Business and Disability Network in Nepal. There are already many Business and Disability Network around the world which are generally coordinated by ILO. Many big employers around the world are its members. Because, our organization is a federation, we have good relations with ILO also. So during the project, we can work together with ILO, FNCCI, Disability Community and Other professional organization like Human Resource Society to start such network in Nepal. This Network, once formed, will be a key to promote employment for persons with disabilities.

Another Question was need for this project/about the pilot: In 2015, our organization got a grant from Disability Rights Promotion International, Canada (DRPI) to conduct a research of employment rights of persons with disabilities. This research mostly gathered individual experience of those with disabilities themselves. The report of this research suggested that, people with disabilities are not getting jobs because first there is a huge misconception about disability among employers and second people with disabilities are mostly not able to identify their skills and develop those skills into employable skills.

This fact we gathered from our research led us to develop an employment model to test. So with the small amount of grant received from the same donor- DRPI, we hired a placement officer with background of Human Resource Management who then acted as a bridge between employers and job seekers with disabilities. We have been implementing that project for little over 1 year and we have been able to place 40 persons having disabilities in various jobs.

The learning from this pilot was that a proper job readiness training is also required for almost all job seekers with disabilities to understand first the labour market and be really serious about getting jobs.

You have asked about the needs that this idea is addressing. These are the needs:
1. A bridge between business community and disability community
2. Skill Identification technique and career path guidance
3. Getting actual jobs (for persons with disabilities)
4. Economic Independence

Another question is about our existing relationship with employers. In Kathmandu, we have good relation with many employers. Some have also taken our clients (job seekers) as their employees. Some are really keen on getting on board with us. So In Kathmandu, I would say, we are mid-way in term of relation with employers. We still have to make new connection but that should not be very hard by using existing employer connection.

Last question you have asked is about the outreach with job seekers with disability. This is one of those times where we will use the outreach our organization already have. Many people with disabilities are associated in one way or another with disability organization in their locality and almost all of these organizations are our member organization. So we can tap into them and find out about persons with disabilities. Other than disability organization, we have connection with rehabilitation centres like spinal injury rehab centre people who recently acquired disability comes for rehab. These people will also be our job seekers. Similarly outreach program in special schools for disabled, training centres will also gather job seekers.

Summing up, I want to say that our organization has the capacity to implement this idea and make this a reality. As national federation of people with disability, we are committed towards promoting employment of persons with disabilities and help them be economically independent.

We hope that you will provide us an opportunity to partner with you to develop this idea into a project and implement it.
Thank you!

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National Federation of the Disabled commented on Get Hired! - Employment Support Program for Persons with Disabilities

Paul Mbatia Thanks very much for your comment. We will definitely look forward to connect with you and explore the possibilities of working together.

We will work on twin track approach: that is making both employers and job seekers ready on their part. It means that job seekers will be given job readiness counseling and making them motivated for labor market. Many people with disabilities talks about rights- how employment is their right. But only few talks about the necessary skills for any given jobs. We will work in the mid-way of these two thoughts. We will recognize the employment rights of persons with disabilities and never advocate for jobs on the basis of charity. However, we will also make the job seeker aware that only awareness of rights will not guarantee them jobs and its is the skills they posses; the employers are mostly interested on. A through skill analysis and a job matching is the main theme of our project.

On the other hand we will prepare employers to hire persons with disabilities as their employee. For that, we may need to organize awareness workshop, one and one meeting with employers, delegation meeting with employers association etc. We will also need to create something within in our project , that the employers can take advantage of or want to take hold of. We don't want to present employers as giver and persons with disabilities as taker. We want to make sure there is a win win situation for both parties.

So coming to your question, our project believes that the core problem is the gap between job seekers and business community. We have seen almost all youths who come to our organization to seek support for employment have some skills. Of course they may be raw and need some refinement but still, they possess skills. We have also seen the employers, who are keen to support disability community but don't know how.

So our idea will be a strong bridge to connect these two parties.

Thanks again.