Friday, 1 July, 2022

Youth with disabilities deprived of learning, employment: Study

The country’s youths with disabilities are being deprived of learning and employment opportunities in the country, said a study conducted by Sightsavers and BRAC University.

It also said such young people are also facing multifaceted challenges in terms of equal livelihood, reports UNB.

“They’re often also deprived of their rights as per the Disability Act 2013,” said the study report released on Thursday at a programme jointly hosted by Sightsavers and BRAC James P Grant School of Public Health.

The study project, “British Academy Youth Futures Research”, captured the experiences of young people with disabilities living in urban and rural settings in Bangladesh, said a press release.

The research was conducted, led by a group of young peer researchers who have disabilities. They will be trained and supported to shape national policy on disability inclusion.

State Minister for Social Welfare Ashraf Ali Khan Khasru attended the programme as the chief guest while Dr Mrittika Barua and Sayema Akter from BRAC James P Grant School of Public Health of BRAC University presented the key findings of the research.

Neuro-Developmental Disability Protection Trustee Board chairman Prof Dr Golam Rabbani and Sightsavers Bangladesh Country Director Amrita Rejina Rozario also spoke on the occasion with Dr Malabika Sarker from BRAC James P Grant School of Public Health in the chair.

The research tried to understand the experiences, aspirations, and challenges of youths with disability in their livelihood in Bangladesh and, to explore the inclusion of young people with disabilities into policy dialogues.

The key objective of the study was to enhance the advocacy capacity of the youth with disabilities (peer researchers) so that they can advocate with the government and relevant stakeholders for their own rights.

Speaking at the programme,  State Minister Ashraf Ali said research is an important component of societal development. “There’s no alternative to research for development.”

He praised the research as it helped understand the aspirations of youth with disabilities in relation to livelihoods and determine barriers to realising those aspirations.

Amrita Rejina said, “By employing young researchers with disabilities, we got an authentic insight, and the research has also empowered them to help shape and contribute to the policy decisions that affect their lives.”

She said Sightsavers is committed to advancing the rights of persons with disabilities through research and other development initiatives.

Amrita said the study followed the method of Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) and employed young people with disabilities from Sirajganj, Gazipur and Narsingdi districts as peer-researchers who worked alongside local and international researchers to gather and analyse data for the study.