Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Poor planning hampers employment for disabled

The National Disability Authority is warning that people with a disability may be at greater risk of unemployment during the recession.

It says that many employers still tend to see people with a disability in terms of what they cannot do rather than what they can do.

Siobhan Barron is the director of the NDA.

She says that even during the years of the economic boom the employment rate for people with a disability fell from 40% to 37%,

"If it was like in the good times you can imagine in a recession, with a lot more competitiveness out there, a lot more focus on skills and higher levels of qualifications it's going to be tougher for people with disabilities."

The NDA also warns that many people with a disability are scared of taking up employment because of a so called benefits trap.

Barron says that for some taking a job will mean they lose their entitlement to medical cards or other benefits.

She says that more joined up thinking is needed to remove such disincentives.

Belfast Telegraph, 11th July 2009

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