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Disabled Children of Katalemwa Cheshire Home entertain guests during the launch of their 40th anniversary in Kampala. Many have been rejected at work places

but they have potential. The common adage goes disability is not inability. Some companies are now recruiting them and the results are worthwhile proving that they can do what a normal person can or even better.

Like any other Ugandans, the skills, experience and educational qualifications of the deaf and dumb are widely varied, but they tend to be an under-utilised talent pool.

If companies look beyond someone’s disability and seize the potential of everyone who wants to work for them, they could benefit immensely.

A recent report from the International Labour Organisation: Disabled persons and employment, indicates that disabled persons comprise of more than 600 million of the seven billion people that make the global population.

“While many disabled persons are successfully employed and fully included in society, as a group, they face disproportionate poverty and severe unemployment,” the report reads in part.

“A lack of global data about their numbers and situation is only one piece of evidence supporting the discrimination and exclusion they often face. National data, when it exists, verifies the fact that people with disabilities, and especially women, are less likely to access education, training and employment of any kind.”
Some companies in Uganda are adopting employment of disabled persons in their policies.

“We strongly adhere to our human resource policy that does not discriminate against job seekers and employees on any grounds. We believe that including people with physical impairment in our workforce increases our pool of talent and skill,” Ms Brenda Kyasiimire, the human resource manager at Rwenzori Bottling Company Limited, says.

Ms Barbra Gwosusa and MsFlorence Aguti have not had a fair share of life because both are deaf and dumb.
It is with their current job placements at Rwenzori Bottling that they are starting to realise their worth.

Ms Aguti studied in Arua District but later moved to Jinja District where she studied a tailoring course.

Tailoring was not earning her enough money to buy “beautiful shoes and jewelry” as the 29-year-old says through an interpreter Isaac Lukyamuzi. She later joined the teaching profession at Gayaza School for the Deaf tutoring primary one and two in sign language.

However, she did not give up on the job search. She applied for a vacancy at the company last September and luckily there was a vacancy that she is currently filling.

“My life is better now because of the good working conditions and relations I have with other employees. Everyone loves and cares for us,” Ms Aguti says. “I am more confident now and have realised that I can do anything that a normal person can do or even better.”

For the future, Ms Aguti dreams of meeting a good man who will love her for who she is.

Bitter side
Her colleague Ms Gwosusa has tasted the bitter side of being employed with a disability.

She studied in Ntinda School for the Deaf. However, she did not go beyond Senior Four because of school fees constraints. She was previously working as a caterer in a hotel in Wandegeya but could not stomach the oppression she was facing from some of her workmates and the Shs60,000 per month was so meagre.

“I was reduced to rubbish in that place. No one believed in me not even the managers,” she said, engrossed in deep thought.

Source: Daily Monitor