Jobs and Skills for Persons with Disabilities with a Focus on ICT-based Solutions

This United Nations joint programme is implemented by three partners: ILO, UNDP, and the ICT Trust Fund. The implementation strategy uses approaches that are participatory, inclusive, and community-based, in close partnership with the most relevant stakeholders: government agencies, non-governmental organizations, disabled people’s organizations, workers’ unions and employers’ organizations.

Donor: United Nations Partnership to Promote the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNPRPD)
Geographical area of implementation: Egypt (Cairo, Giza, Alexandria, Red Sea, Daqahliya, and Minya)
Participating UN Agencies: International Labour Organization (ILO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
Contact (ILO): Gehan ElSharkawy – National Project Coordinator

Project Background

According to the World Report on Disability, 15% of the world’s population is living with a disability. In 2008, it ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. In June 2012, the National Council on Disability Affairs was established as a specialized entity to deal with disability issues. Moreover, eight articles in the 2014 Constitution directly and indirectly target persons with disabilities, protecting their rights to equal health care, employment, education, political participation, and social inclusion. Civil society has also been playing an active role in empowering persons with disabilities through raising awareness, education, sports, vocational rehabilitation, and entrepreneurial skills.
However, even though the Egyptian Rehabilitation Law Number 39 for 1975 that was modified by Law Number 49 for 1982 stipulates a 5% quota for persons with disabilities in organizations that hire 50 or more people, they tend to be economically excluded and disadvantaged in finding decent jobs as compared with their non-disabled peers. Furthermore, they generally lack Information and Communications Technology (ICT), soft, and entrepreneurial skills that are needed to start their own businesses. This is what motivated the project to support the labour market inclusion of persons with disabilities, especially in the ICT and tourism sectors. The project builds on successful ILO projects in these two sectors, and believes that increasing the participation of persons with disabilities in mainstream training and employment opportunities is a prerequisite for promoting equality and inclusion in Egypt.

Objectives and expected outcomes

Objectives

The project aims to improve institutional capacities to enable persons with visual and physical impairments to find employment and receive support through ICT-based solutions. This will be done through:

• Providing needs assessments and capacity building.
• Supporting and training non-governmental organizations, training providers, and employment service providers.
• Raising awareness among enterprises of the benefits of inclusive employment, and promoting entrepreneurship.
• Empowering persons with disabilities through ICT skills and e-learning methodologies.
• Fostering technological innovation to address the needs of persons with disabilities in daily life, training, and the work environment.

Outcomes

• 600 persons with visual and physical impairments aged 18 - 35 acquire employable skills, and have better access to decent job opportunities; of whom 300 find jobs, internships, start their own business, or form a cooperative.
• Six innovative technologically oriented solutions for persons with disabilities are designed, prototyped, and tested to improve their living, training, and working environment.
• Enterprises have increased awareness on the benefits of hiring persons with disabilities, and create job and internship opportunities for them.
• 25 organizations make their training and counselling practices more inclusive, and therefore service higher numbers of persons with disabilities.

Target groups and partners

The project aims to empower 600 women and men aged 18 to 35 years who have visual and physical impairments.

The project partners are:
Government:
• Ministry of Social Solidarity.
• Ministry of Manpower and Migration.
• Ministry of Communications and Information Technology.
• Ministry of Tourism.
• National Council for Disability Affairs.

Workers:
• Egyptian Democratic Labour Congress.

Employers:
• The Federation of Egyptian Industries.

Civil Society:
The project works in partnership with selected non-governmental organizations and Disabled People’s Organizations in the targeted governorates.

For further information, please contact:

Gehan ElSharkawy, National Project Coordinator
Email: elsharkawy@ilo.org