People with disability no longer accept less than equitable and fulfilling opportunities, both in the workplace and in daily life – St Helena is no exception – and St Helena Government continues to do all it can to support disabled people to lead economically active lives.
Assistant Chief Secretary, Paul McGinnety, explains:
“Technology has removed many barriers faced by people with disability and enabled more people to reach their full potential. The economic and social cost of ignoring this section of the population is unsustainable – especially with an aged population and a disproportionate low number of economically active adults on St Helena. We will therefore continue to support any disabled person with job and work placement opportunities.”
In supporting disabled people on St Helena to become more economically active, SHG has taken the lead in ensuring that any disabled person who meets the minimum criteria for a job will be interviewed. SHG have also supported work placements of disabled people in the St Helena National Trust and the St Helena Airport Landscape & Ecology Mitigation Programme. Other areas of good practice include:
- Providing support to SHAPE
- Having in place key support services
- Having committed and active Non Government Organisations onboard who for many years have championed the rights of disabled people
Of course more can be done and St Helena will be building on existing good practice to ensure this happens.
“We will endeavour to do all we can to support the less able members of our society, but there are barriers which need to be removed before this can happen. These barriers include changing attitudes, providing more disabled friendly transport, increasing the amount of support available and ensuring disabled access to buildings – it is our job to work towards removing these barriers and help disabled people to lead normal lives.”
SHG will embrace the following in order to remove some of these barriers:
- Focus on the skills, talents and capabilities a person with disability can bring to the workplace
- Further develop Transition Planning from age 13, which is person centred and involves all agencies
- Utilise the Community College opportunities for skill development and access to a range of qualifications
- Review current policy and legislation to become more disabled friendly
“Our next steps are to work with other employers and determine how we can support them in supporting disabled people on St Helena.”
13 September 2016