For the most part of it, Indian companies have largely ignored uniquely-abled individuals as part of a viable workforce. Only in a handful of industries like education and some government jobs, there are a small percentage of seats reserved for uniquely-abled workers. Most of these seats, unfortunately, go unclaimed.
A big reason why uniquely-abled workers are not seen in offices, is because workplace infrastructure is rarely equipped to accommodate their needs. Most office buildings in India don’t have proper signs to help uniquely-abled employees.
A major hurdle in hiring uniquely-abled persons is skepticism. Employers worry about the working capabilities of such people, even if they have professional degrees or proper training. Recruiters worry whether the person would be able to fit into the work environment.
Organizations, both government and private, have to change their human resource (HR) polices to encourage more differently-abled people join the workforce. They have to remove all barriers in this regard. To begin with, companies must forge an inclusive environment in the workplace by educating existing employees on how to treat differently-abled workers. The existing employees have to understand that the differently-abled are as capable as they are.
Management of uniquely-abled workers should be practiced in all aspects of hiring, like interviewing, selection, employment, and performance. Some organizations have woken up to the needs of uniquely-abled employees and are providing them with resources like special equipment, modified keyboards and technical gadgets depending on their specific needs.
Contrary to what companies may believe, accommodating uniquely-abled employees don’t involve any extra cost for an organization. But employers have to be honest in their intention to hire such people.
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