IT is increasingly apparent that persons with disabilities not only have a valuable contribution to the national economy but their employment is also a catalyst to economic empowerment and poverty reduction. There is a strong business case for employing persons with disabilities qualified for a particular job. Employers may gain by expanding the number of eligible workers through the inclusion approach. Further gains may emanate from continuing the employment of those who acquire disability while at work, to return valuable expertise.
It is with this regard the Malawi Bureau of Standards (MBS) decided to draft a disability mainstreaming policy to accommodate persons with disabilities by creating an enabling environment within the organization and other relevant stake holders to achieve inclusiveness at all levels of operations.
speaking at the draft policy validation workshop in Blantyre, Grace Massah from the department of disability, expressed gratitude to the MBS for drafting such policy saying persons with disabilities will start feeling they are really Malawians just like any other citizens. She therefore took time to request the representatives from various Organizations of Persons with Disabilities (OPDs) to re-thing of lobbying for such policies in both public and private institutions so that many companies and organization should emulate the gesture set by the MBS.
During the plenary-comments on the draft presentation, representatives from OPDs were thankful to MBS for bringing forth the draft before them for scrutiny before it is finalized and this picture gives the true sense that the motto of ‘Nothing for us without us,’ is being fully realized in this context.
Once the draft is finalized and all recommendations made by the OPDs are incorporated, the policy will come into functional and it will serve as a contact point on issues relating to employees with dishabilles at the workplace.