The relationship between being uniquely-abled and economic backwardness goes both ways. Both are directly related to each other. But still, little attention is given to the issue of uniquely-abled employment and the concerns of such people. The employment rate of uniquely-abled persons are a half or one-third of neuro-typical persons. Unemployment rate in some countries, in fact, are as high as 80-90%.
Being uniquely-abled is a multidimensional, evolving, but nonetheless complex concept. It’s estimated that 15% of the current world population is uniquely-abled, with developing countries having a higher rate of prevalence. Opportunities for a sustainable income generation are directly linked to a person’s access to markets, finance, and networks.
Uniquely-abled persons usually face major challenges in employment because of the following reasons.
- Societal prejudice and stigma
- Lack of resource allocation
- Reduced educational participation
- Inability to properly communicate their needs and wants
- Lack of access to city spaces
A recent World Bank report has pointed out that a country can’t achieve optimal growth if it leaves behind a large section of its citizens—uniquely-abled people—out of the employment ambit. Economic losses because of not promoting uniquely-abled employment ranges from 3-7% of the GDP.
In most developing countries, uniquely-abled women are the worst sufferers. They earn less than their male counterparts, and are also affected by inaccessible sanitation in office spaces.
The World Bank report stresses on providing equal opportunities to uniquely-abled individuals to build inclusive and sustainable communities.