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Championing Inclusive Employment of Persons with Disabilities

How many persons with disabilities are currently employed in Uganda?

To what extent are persons with disabilities who are employed, satisfied with their working conditions?

What are the perspectives of both persons with disabilities and employers on using quotas to promote the employment of persons with disabilities?

These are some of the questions that a recent study carried out Disability Policy Watch Africa sought to answer. The study was commissioned by Light for the World and the National Union for Disabled Persons of Uganda (NUDIPU) under the Make 12.4% Work Initiative – supported by the National Lottery Community Fund.

According to the findings;

Only 9,122 (1.3%) of employees in formal employment are persons with disabilities with central and local governments being the highest employer at (62%). 85% of persons with disabilities employed were satisfied with their jobs though the level of dissatisfaction was higher (21%) among those in the private sector – lack  of provision of reasonable accommodation being sighted as the main reason.

On a bright note, 100% of employers interviewed would recommend using a quota system to improve the employment situation of persons with disabilities. A summarized report on all of the research findings will be available soon our website.

We organised an Inclusive Employment Conference on the 16th of May, 2019 at Hotel Africana to present these findings to key ministries (Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Ministry of Education and Sports), members of parliament, leaders of Disabled Persons Organisations in Uganda and other representatives from civil society groups.

Dr. Patrick Ojok presenting findings on the research study

Mr. Lawrence Egulu, Commissioner Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, gave the opening speech stating that the duty of the government was to put favourable conditions in place through policy and incentives to encourage employers in the private sector to hire persons with disabilities.

 

Honourable Asamo Hellen, Member of Parliament for persons with disabilities – Eastern Uganda, offered words of encouragement to persons with disabilities struggling to access the job market in Uganda.  She shared inspirational stories of strife and triumph from a profession in education to rising through the ranks and making it to the parliament. Her determination and ambitions drove her to find solutions to challenges and negative perceptions she faced. She urged persons with disabilities to be principled, do their very best and most importantly, never give up.

Honourable Safia Nalule Juuko, Women Member of Parliament for persons with disabilities, offered invaluable feedback to the research findings and stated her commitment to ensuring that the Disability Bill and Employment Acts currently being discussed in parliament catered to the needs of persons with disabilities.

The afternoon session of the conference brought together our member organisations and companies to share their experiences in employing persons with disabilities and having interns with disabilities placed through the initiative.

Ms. Fiona Inci, the Country Director of the British Council, commended the Initiative for the work done, stating the inspiration that the British Council has drawn from our DIF Robert Ssewagudde through prior engagements. And to that effect, the British Council formally joined the Make 12.4% Work Initiative as our 47th Member!

 

A cocktail and networking session followed to top it all off. We look forward to many more fruitful engagements and partnerships to truly make disability inclusion work in Uganda.