Dedicated Support Needed for Employers Hiring Disabled
SINGAPORE – 100 percent of respondents to a survey conducted by Sharing the Lion City expressed that while they were open to hiring persons with disabilities, they did not know how they could provide accommodations for persons with disabilities.
Unlike employers in the United States who can seek advice from the Job Accommodation Network (JAN), employers in Singapore have to navigate through different voluntary welfare organization in order to find out how they can support persons with disabilities in their workforce.
Job seekers with disabilities in Singapore are supported by various employment services funded by the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF). These included Bizlink Centre, which provide pan-disability services and three specialized job placement agencies, namely Autism Resource Centre, Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore and Society for the Physically Disabled, which provide disability-specific placement services.
With employment services oriented around job seekers, it can be difficult for employers to get advice on job accommodations. In terms of supporting staff with physical or sensory disabilities, Less than half of employers surveyed were confident of supporting wheelchair users or people with hearing impairment. Only 13 percent were confident of providing accommodations for the blind of visual impaired.
Amongst the employers surveyed, only 33 percent reflected that they were aware of funding schemes such as the Open Door Fund.
With increased willingness to employer persons with disabilities, perhaps employers in Singapore can be better supported with a dedicated service to support the with advice on accommodations and job redesign to make jobs suitable for persons with disabilities.