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Dec 24, 2015

Regional Dialogue on Employment for Persons with Disabilities

National Federation of the Disabled, Nepal (NFDN), in partnership with CBM and Disability Working Group (DWG) of AIN, organized a regional dialogue on employment for persons with disabilities at Pokhara, Kaski on December 23, 2015. The event saw the participation of around 30 job-seekers from Pokhara, 10 representatives of disability organizations from western development region and 10 employers from Pokhara region.

The participants of the overall program was categorized into: jobseekers (who are being ready to enter job market), achievers (who already are doing jobs or self-employment activities), employers' representatives (who represents individual business or groups like chamber of commerce) and DPO leaders (who represents disability organizations within the reasons).

The program officially started with welcome speech by Ms. Tika Dahal, General Secretary of NFDN. Ms. Dahal also highlighted the importance of the program and day long objective.

Ms Tika Dahal, General Secretary of NFDN, addressing the program.

Picture Caption: Ms Tika Dahal, General Secretary of NFDN, addressing the program.

The day long program was moderated by Mr. Bimal Paudel, program officer of NFDN.
The first part of the program was led by Mr. Bishal Dahal, work placement coordinator of NFDN. He gave a basic orientation to all the job seekers with disability on how to prepare for jobs. He talked about writing good CV and cover letter, preparing for interviews, reading and understanding job descriptions and knowing about the business/organization before applying.

This part of the program was highly interactive. The job seekers asked various questions related to employment and applying for job to Mr. Dahal and he answered the queries of each participants.
The second part of the program was focused for employers. Mr. Sagar Prasai, Project coordinator of NFDN presented a comprehensive paper on how it is possible to have people with disabilities as effective employees for any business. He also discussed about business case of hiring persons with disabilities.

In this session, various persons with disabilities who already have jobs or are self-employed (achievers) also shared their success story. They highlighted how small changes in the environment helped eliminate existing barriers of success for them. Their stories made employers understand that hiring people with disabilities is never costly.

In the same session employers were also given floor to listen to their thoughts. The employers also took the opportunity to share their commitment to promote employment of persons with disabilities in future.

There were 7 stalls of various groups of people with disabilities who are engaged in self-earning activities. Some of them were- groups of blind people operating a traditional music company, persons with disabilities with their handicrafts products and mobile repairing center operated by persons with disabilities etc. NFDN had also a stall on career counselling for persons with disabilities. The stalls were in place during overall program. The participants of the program visited all stalls and took

Representatives from FNCCI Pokhara adressing the program

Picture Caption: Representatives from FNCCI Pokhara adressing the program

The last part of the program was open floor discussion. Almost all participants from all categories shared their experience related to employment.

The program was ended by General Secretary of NFDN Tika Dahal by thanking all the participants and specially employers for providing their time for the day. She also shared the belief of NFDN that the employers will start thinking about hiring persons with disabilities in their business in coming days.

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