Abilities Foundation receives $6 million
THE Ministry of Labour and Social Security and the Japan Development Grant have allocated $6.383 million to the Abilities Foundation to improve operations at the facility.
In an interview with JIS News, managing director of the foundation, Susan Hamilton, said the grant, issued through the Ministry's Social and Economic Inclusion Project for Persons with Disabilities, aims to enhance the training of students, purchase items to assist the students and facilitate capacity building for its staff.
Another component of the project, Workforce Inclusion, gives the foundation's trainees the opportunity to gain work experience through paid internships. Already, several students have received paid internships, with some achieving permanent employment.
In the meantime, Hamilton said there has been a lot of interest from private employers since the passing of the Disabilities Act. To facilitate this growing interest, she said the foundation has started a presentation series with some private companies on the requirements of the Act.
"We have a team that interface with employers and encourage them to employ our students. From the presentations that we have done already, they (private employers) are really interested in having a more inclusive workforce," she said.
The managing director noted that this will help to deal with the "challenges that we have in confronting the bias of hiring persons with disabilities".
The foundation, which is an agency of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, provides vocational training for persons with disabilities, in order to prepare them to function as productive citizens. It currently caters to 80 students.