Faisal Rashid, MP for Warrington South, recently joined the UK based charity Leonard Cheshire Disability in Parliament to mark the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. Faisal also met with Leonard Cheshire representatives to discuss their Untapped Talent campaign, aimed at removing barriers to employment for people with disabilities.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development pledges to “leave no one behind” yet a recent report by Leonard Cheshire and the United Nations Girls Education Initiative (UNGEI) revealed that only 10% of children with disabilities in developing countries go to school. Yet the global literacy rate for adults with disabilities is as low as 3 per cent, and 1 per cent for women with disabilities, according to a 1998 UNDP study. Less than 42% of women with disabilities have completed primary school education.
Leonard Cheshire Disability runs a number of programmes aimed at improving access to inclusive education for children with disabilities, particularly girls, and employment opportunities for people with disabilities in 13 countries across Africa and Asia. Leonard Cheshire also recently conducted research which shockingly found that one in five employers say they would be less likely to hire someone if they have a disability.
“I was delighted to join Leonard Cheshire Disability to help mark the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, and to continue our discussions in a meeting afterwards.
“Around the world, people with disabilities are often significantly poorer, significantly less likely to reach school or to receive a comparable quality of education, and significantly less likely to secure employment or livelihoods. It is vital that the UK continues to ensure that people with disabilities, especially girls with disabilities, around the world are not left behind.
“And it is also extremely important that we continue to do this work at home. It is shocking that one in five employers say they would be less likely to hire someone if they had a disability and I am pleased to have the opportunity to work with Leonard Cheshire to tackle this. People with disabilities contribute a huge amount to our society and it is vital that we tap in to the talent and encourage work places to be more open.”