HEAL Disability Initiative Decries Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities by Government and other Employers

By Mainas Ayuba 

The global population is 15% or more consist of persons with disabilities. There are about 30 million Nigerians living with a form of disability. This population group are faced with numerous socioeconomic challenges ranging from access to quality education, health and decent employment.

As the world observe the Labour Day and recognize the contributions of employees, a section of the population is left to ponder on the injustices they live with.

Working as a person with a disability could present many different physical and psychosocial challenges.

Disabilities can range from conditions that affect mobility, sensory impairments and neurodevelopmental including learning disorders. One could be born with a disability or developed later in life resulting from variety of factors

Persons with disabilities especially in Nigeria are many obstacles and barriers when seeking employment and after being employed

The Social model of disability, see disability as the way society is structured, than on someone’s impairments. The social and the human rights models of thinking could be applied to recruitment and employment processes, retention, promotions , as many people feel disabled by the processes of recruitment, job retention and promotion and ultimately, job satisfaction.

According persons with disabilities, they see employers as lacking empathy and understanding of disability and confidence on persons living with a disability due to discrimination, conscious and unconscious bias.

HEAL Disability Initiative (HDI) noted the high level of unemployment among persons with disabilities, is linked to consistent systemic negative procedures, attitudes of operators and a lack of disability awareness are involved in the creation and sustaining of barriers. It is a wholly negative homogenisation of a diverse group of people, when someone says “you can’t do this job!”

Furthermore, social habits, behaviors, practices, regulations, laws, and institutions that operate under the assumption that people with disabilities are inherently less capable, less valuable in society, and should have less personal autonomy than is ordinarily granted to people of the same age escalate the barriers:

It was difficult getting employers to see past my wheelchair and see that I was capable.

Accessibility barriers in built environments such as transport, products and services.

Lack of disability inclusion awareness in the workplace leading to isolation, misrepresentation and stigma.

Inadequate provision for disability accommodations and lack of commitment to make adjustments in work environment

Limited employment opportunities for persons with disabilities

Lack of inclusive education and vocational education /skills for persons with disabilities

Insufficient commitment from some authorities such as the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities and at state level to promote government initiatives and mandates leading to disability Inclusion.

Inaccessible work premises and work tools, including Information and Communication Technologies (ICT).

Lack of capacity of publicly funded bodies to effectively support persons with disabilities to secure and maintain

Lack of information and support for companies considering the employment of persons with disabilities.

Societal views of disability is heavily stigmatised. These prescriptions are carried into official engagements

As primary barriers, stigmatised attitudes and lack of awareness towards people with disabilities permeate throughout built environments, welfare systems, employment and education, preventing true equality.

By removing attitudinal barriers and systemic procedures that promote barrier against persons with disabilities there would be a direct and positive impact on all other barriers for every person.

The media have unlimited role to promote disability inclusion in education and employment, leading to reduction on over dependency on others by persons with disabilities.

Employment of persons with disabilities promote their economic empowerment, ability to invest in health and educational needs. Eliminate over dependency resulting in increased human dignity and respect.

The National Disability (Prohibition) Act, 2018 provides for 5% of all employment be reserved for persons with disabilities. No persons with disabilities shall be denied employment based on his/her disability.

Ayuba is the BoT Secretary of HEAL Disability Initiative


One thought on “HEAL Disability Initiative Decries Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities by Government and other Employers

  1. Thank u oga minas ur boldness to voice out the minds of the persons with disabilities. Government and private employers should do more to reduce the unemployment problem of persons with disabilities.

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