Photo: Kevin German
Women and men with disabilities want to be productive members of society. Promoting more inclusive societies and employment opportunities for people with disabilities requires improved access to basic education, vocational training relevant to labor market needs and jobs suited to the skills, interests and abilities of people with disabilities.
It also requires workplaces to make changes in order to accommodate people with special needs, such as improving physical access and providing on-site services.
In Vietnam, approximately 70 percent of people with disabilities depend on support from their families or social assistance from the government. Most people with disabilities live below the poverty line, since this assistance is most often quite meager. The ability to generate an income improves the economic status of a disabled person their independence.
A number of programs in Vietnam aim to provide opportunities for people with disabilities to develop and improve their income-generating capacity. This goal is achieved through a process of training, education, advice, savings and credit programs that provide necessary capital, and training in basic business skills. Some programs also provide small business loans.
For example, one program helps women with disabilities to develop their own micro-businesses and earn an independent living. The women are provided with training in basic business skills including managing money, marketing and networking. Many of them make things at home such as brooms, handbags and clothes which they take to market to sell.
These types of programs not only benefit the disabled person but also their families. Through income generating activities people with disabilities can support themselves; they are not so dependent on family for economic support and they have higher self esteem and confidence.
The top ten best practice organizations that are focused on proving income generation opportunities are: