Employment for persons with disabilities

Tourism and hospitality sector offers excellent work prospects for people with neurodevelopmental disabilities

According to a recent disability survey approximately 255,000 people in Bangladesh have neurodevelopmental disabilities.

Press release | Dhaka | 31 October 2017
Persons with neurodevelopment disabilities participates in the Cultural programme

DHAKA (ILO News)- The wide range of employment opportunities for persons with neurodevelopmental disabilities in the tourism and hospitality sector were highlighted at an event held in Dhaka on 28 October 2017.

The seminar on ‘Employment for Persons with Neurodevelopment Disabilities in Tourism & Hospitality Sector’ was organized by the International Labour Organization’s Canadian funded BSEP project in collaboration with the Tourism & Hospitality Industry Skills Council and the PFDA-Vocational Training Center Trust.

The event was held to create better awareness of the potential for disability inclusion in the tourism and hospitality sector and to increase employment opportunities for persons with disabilities.

Minister of Civil Aviation and Tourism Mr. Rashed Khan Menon is giving his speech
Presiding over the event, Minister of Civil Aviation and Tourism Mr. Rashed Khan Menon said, “The Government of Bangladesh is committed to ensuring the inclusion of people with disabilities into the workforce. Tourism and hospitality is an important sector and provides a range of excellent work opportunities for those with neurodevelopmental disabilities.”

During the seminar representatives from the hospitality and tourism sector in both India and Bangladesh provided their insight and experience into how they had successfully employed people with neurodevelopmental disabilities.

Special guest, Mr. Zillar Rahman, Secretary, Ministry of Social Welfare highlighted the positive contribution of people with disabilities can make to any business. “The business case is well known. Companies should not think that they are simply being charitable. People with disabilities make excellent employees, who are loyal and hard working. They should be given every chance to prove their worth.”

According to a recent disability survey approximately 255,000 people in Bangladesh have neurodevelopmental disabilities. Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a group of complex neurobiological, developmental disorders including Autism, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy and Intellectual Disability that are typically diagnosed in childhood with symptoms that often last throughout a person’s lifetime. Characterized by varying degrees of symptom severity and impact ranging from mild to quite severe, the hallmark characteristics of ASD include deficits in social behaviour and communication as well as restricted and/or repetitive behaviours.

Also speaking at the event, Kishore Kumar Singh, Chief Technical Advisor of ILO’s BSEP project said, “It is important that the private sector becomes more aware of the potential of people with disabilities, how they can recruit them and what type of changes they need to make to their business to accommodate these staff. Hospitality and tourism offers excellent opportunities but we should also consider other industries in other sectors too.”

The seminar held at the Dhaka Regency Hotel brought together participants from government, the private sector and civil society groups. Taking part were Sajida Rahman from PFDA-Vocational Training Center Trust, Akhteruzzaman Kabir from the Parjatan Corporation, Shahabuddin of the Signature Club and R Hari General Manager of Lemon Tree Hotel India who shared their experiences in recruiting people with disabilities. A H M Bari Chairman of Tourism and Hospitality Industry Skills Council also took part.