The Challenges that People with Disability Face in the Workforce

People with disability can face a range of individual barriers at different stages of employment. From finding work, maintaining work or re-entering the workforce. For many individuals with a disability who have or are looking for work have experienced discrimination and based on their disability are treated differently to others.

According to the Australian Human Rights Commission, for Australians with a disability some barriers when gaining or keeping employment may include:

  • Discriminatory attitudes and behaviours
  • Misconception that people with disability can only do low-skilled work
  • Lack of availability of jobs
  • Difficulty in accessing skills, training and education
  • Lack of availability of accessible transport and technology in the work

You may think that with these barriers and misconceptions would influence these individuals to give up on finding employment, but for many Australians with disability working is much more than just a paycheck. According to the Australian organisation Life Without Barriers, it is about community acceptance and belonging, a sense of professional accomplishment by earning an income that can help them achieve the dreams and aspiration they want in life.

However, it does not mean the barriers that these individuals face do not have an impact upon their lives. Facing discrimination, a lack of access to skills and availability to accessible transport in the workplace can hinder anyone’s professional and personal performance and drive in the workplace.

Enablecode Vietnam shatters these barriers and misconceptions of people with disabilities. Using artificial intelligence (AI) as a window of opportunity for 40 people living with disabilities and who are disadvantaged in Vietnam to gain employment, It displays forward thinking and adapting to the transformation in technology. Their BPO program shows that people with disability have the skills, knowledge and capabilities just like people without disability to work in an organisation such as AI.

Individuals are able to work from home, making it easier and accessible for them to work in the comfort of their own home and saving time and resources on travel. Implementing these modifications are not always major for people with disabilities, it can be as simple as a raised desk or extra training.

But just like those who are living with a disability in Australia, these individuals are not immune to a hindrance in their performance or lack of drive in the workplace. Evidently, I have some of those days, when the drive to complete work tasks is lower than normal. For people without disability, missing out on a few day of work may not have a major impact in their lives, however, for people with disabilities these actions can have a major impact on their mental and economic wellbeing.

Some people with disabilities are the breadwinners for their families and earning that paycheck is very important, in order to receive this they need to complete tasks and meet deadlines. There are challenges these individuals face just like any other person in society. Challenges may not be in regards to discrimination or misconception but just everyday human thoughts and feelings such as:

  • No motivation
  • Afraid of failure
  • Low levels of self-confidence
  • No confidence in their skills
  • Lack of understanding of workplace expectations

For some BPO workers who are employed by Enablecode they are experiencing some of these challenges when working on artificial intelligence projects which in turn, impacts their financial wellbeing. It is believed that these challenging attributes are what’s keeping these individuals from completing tasks ot meeting deadlines. Their lack of motivation or belief in their skills is what is keeping them from completing work.

When faced with an assignment that is hard to read or understand, some individuals may keep trying until they get it right or ask for help, while others may just simply give up because they feel it is too hard and they would not understand. The latter need support from the organisation to help them feel confident in the skills they have and to help them understand that putting in the hard work today will put them in a better place tomorrow. Not only for themselves but for their families.

This sentiment doesn’t just apply to people with disabilities, but for the disadvantaged and for society as a whole. In order for your goals or aspirations to be achieved you cannot sit back and wait for it to come to you, because if you do, you will be waiting for an eternity. You have to work hard and apply yourself even if it hard or tiring, know when to ask for help shows you want to do better and shows true character.

A role model of mine once said “Doing you best atthis moment puts you in the best place in the next moment”. Whether these individuals have low self-confidence in their skills, in themselves or have a lack of drive, it is about understanding the reason for working. You are not only working for financial gain, but towards the future of you family. This should be used as motivation whenever you are in doubt. By risking a few hours in the day to complete artificial intelligence work, any work, you will reap the rewards tomorrow.

About The Author

Hannah Mareko