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December 04, 2019

New Delhi marks International Day of Persons with Disabilities

New Delhi marks International Day of Persons with Disabilities

As part of an event in New Delhi marking International Day of Persons with Disabilities on Tuesday, situations showing realistic struggles that people with disabilities experience were highlighted through a mime skit. It was enacted by the National Association of the Deaf (NAD). The National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP) has been organizing this event for the past five year and the walk this year was in partnership with the American India Foundation (AIF), amongst other organizations. The theme was “The future is accessible – A call to prioritise equity and accessibility.”

A number of IZA World of Labor authors have looked at disability and how those affected by disability might be discriminated against. Melanie Jones in particular has consulted the evidence and established that there is a causal relationship between disability and labor market disadvantage. In her article she notes that: “The prevalence of disability, combined with its substantial labor market disadvantage, makes the design of effective policy critical for reducing its negative social and economic consequences. However, this process is complicated by difficulties in measuring disability and in distinguishing its influence on productivity and preferences for work from employer discrimination. Recognizing that the experience of disability varies by type, severity, and duration may nevertheless facilitate a more flexible and tailored approach to policy, which provides the necessary incentives and support to work for those who are able.”

During the event, Shruti Jha, whose son has autism, also highlighted how the disabled are discriminated against in everyday situations. She spoke about how metro stations and malls don’t provide any assistance for those who are differently abled. Another attendee, Sunaina, whose sister lives with disability, spoke of the difficulty when it comes to travelling with her sister due to lack of amenities. Talking about the lack of interpreters and knowledge of sign language, the participants were also encouraged to sign an online petition to make Indian sign language the 23rd official language of the country.

Read Melanie Jones’ article Disability and labor market outcomes.

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