The private sector, especially the IT industry, should implement the proposal to provide three per cent reservation in jobs for persons with disability, Information Technology Minister Poongothai Aladi Aruna said here on Saturday.
She was speaking at the inaugural function of ‘Assistability,' a career guidance session for persons with disability organised by the NASSCOM Foundation. Many issues such as physical accessibility, assistive technology and inclusive policies concerning the employability of persons with disability were discussed at the programme.
Stressing the importance of introducing early intervention, the Minister said that since many persons with disability, due to a variety of reasons, ended up with unsatisfactory academic records in the early years of their education, they were unsuccessful in getting into the IT sector.
Senior executives from Cognizant, Verizon Data Services India, Infosys, Polaris, Wipro, UST Global and World Bank, representatives from the IT-BPO industry and some NGOs interacted with as many as 50 persons with disability on how ‘inclusivity' could be translated into action at the workplace.
While it was necessary to patronise companies that were sensitised towards disability, it was equally important to realise that many organisations did not walk that path, fearing the attitudinal adjustments that were needed to accompany the infrastructural changes in the offices, said P.W.C. Davidar, IT Secretary. He urged IT companies to carry out an internal survey in their own work environment to identify work stations that would suit persons with a certain kind of disability, and recruit appropriate candidates after such analyses.
Rita Soni, CEO, NASSCOM Foundation, said diversity in work place helped creating a holistic work environment that brought on board different perspectives. She said many persons with disability employed in companies had shown a high degree of loyalty, efficiency and reliability, making it sensible for employers to recruit them.
A document titled ‘Inclusivity at the Workplace' containing the best principles and practices to employ persons with disability was released at the programme.
K. Purushothaman, regional director of NASSCOM; Jayshree Raveendran, founder, Ability Foundation; T.C. Saravanabava, Executive Director National Instructional Media Institute and Krishna Chandra, Joint Director, Vocational Rehabilitation Centre, participated in the programme.