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Accessibility as a human right must for persons with disability to acquire education and have employment: UN Expert

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Inclusion must become part of value system; pvt. sector has important role in effective implementation of Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016

 
New Delhi, 17th February 2018: Promoting accessibility along with development of skill sets holds key to empowering people with disabilities, a United Nations (UN) official said at an ASSOCHAM event held in New Delhi today.
 
“We need to realise that we cannot have meaningful employment unless we have education and skill sets which will not happen unless there is accessibility which is the driver of empowerment,” said Ms Dorodi Sharma, UN Disability Specialist (India) while addressing an ASSOCHAM conference on Empowering persons with disabilities through accessible & assistive technology.
 
Citing government data, Ms Sharma informed that 73.8 per cent of people with disabilities in India in the employable age of 15-59 years do not have employment while only 56 per cent of people with disabilities are literate.
 
“Unless we have accessibility as a human right, persons with disabilities will not be able to acquire education and will not be able to have employment,” added Ms Sharma.
 
She also said that inclusion must become part of the value system like the way gender became part of the value system to push the agenda. “On the lines of gender inclusion we also need to look at whether all our processes are inclusive for people with disabilities.”
 
The UN official further said that private sector employers need must go through the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 to be able to effectively play their part in implementation of this law.
 
Ms Sharma also said that in India we still somehow are intuitively not looking at disability as part of human diversity. “When we look at disabled people we need to understand that it is a whole spectrum, we need to understand the diversity within the disability community as well.”

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