THE year 2009 began on an encouraging note for me. I met a young man working with a large publishing house. He reminds me a little of me several years ago, but for a few things. He is visually impaired in one eye and is hearing impaired. However, his employer is blind to this, as the young worker is afforded the same privileges, salary, benefits, etc as his co-workers with the same qualifications and experience.
Could this have something to do with the Persons With Disabilities Act 2008?
In August 2008, Women Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Dr Ng Yen Yen was reported to have said, “With the enforcement of the Act, (persons with disabilities) will … also have … improved employment opportunities…”
When I finally managed to read the Act, I again wondered what Dr Ng meant, for section 29(1) on employment states simply:
Persons with disabilities shall have the right to access to employment on equal basis with persons without disabilities.
Quite how this will “improve employment opportunities” for disabled persons is beyond me. It seems to me that critics are wrong, the Persons With Disabilities Act is not a toothless tiger, it is a friendly rabbit.