What I Found After Training Persons with Disabilities

Working with people with disability has been a unique experience, one that I will never forget. Starting out as a trainer for the disabled, I did not realize that there is so much untapped talent that is ready to explode. Up until now, I thought only the elite going to the universities have the unique skill set to make it to the job market, however, little did I know that people with disability are sometimes more uniquely talented. And I believe, they will be a major part of our workforce if we give them the attention they so deserve.

As I have seen over the years, talent without concentrated effort shall always bear no fruits. Therefore, it is essential that people with disability are not only given a proper learning environment but also specialized trainers. Why ‘Specialized’? Because not everyone can provide vocational
training to disabled people as it takes time to understand their educational shortcomings.

A proper learning environment is key to creating job opportunities, which is why vocational training centers need to be setup, especially for the disabled. Last time I checked, there is a dearth of proper training centers, whereas the prevalence of disability in Pakistan is a lot higher. This goes to show that disability is a curse in Pakistan, which is not the case if we look at the ratio of disability index to vocational centers in European countries.

This sets up the question. What is the solution to all this? If the government has lagged behind in aiding the disabled people, should the private sector step up and take the reins in their own hands. Well, to some extend that’s doable, however, without government’s full support it is a lost
cause. No one agency – NGO, businesses – can overcome this challenge alone. Therefore, the solution is a public-private partnership, two different ways of thinking, which can help alleviate this issue. But let’s not forget, the private sector will have to take the lead and do most of the leg work.
Keeping the UN Sustainable Development Goals in mind, we need to work towards a lasting change – one that will promote equality.

It is my opinion that the disabled people are uniquely talented, and
that talent will only come to light when we provide them a conducive learning environment.

-Ali Raza

The author is a trainer at the NOWPDP Training Center

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