Inclusive Employment of People with Disabilities in Hong Kong 2021: A Diagnostic Study
An educator of people with disabilities (PWD) once said, “How the PWD are treated in a society tells you how civil the society is.” This is a simple statement but carries a lot of truth. Civility is more than just decorum; it is also about whether everyone in society is treated with respect, given similar opportunities to excel, and accepted in social life. In other words, it is about the degree of social inclusion, which is at the core of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Centre for Civil Society and Governance at The University of Hong Kong (CCSG-HKU) is committed to building a sustainable society; its mission is to foster innovative, cross-sectoral collective action to attain sustainability. It is under this spirit that the Jockey Club Collaborative Project for Inclusive Employment was launched. The CCSG-HKU, CareER, Heep Hong Society, SAHK, and St. James’ Settlement join hands to promote PWD inclusive employment, with each unit implementing its own programme complementary to the overall project objective. Under the auspices of the CCSG-HKU is the Inclusive Career Platform, which strives to build action and knowledge-based platforms to connect different sectors to leverage societal resources to facilitate inclusive employment.
This Diagnostic Report marks a key milestone of the CCSG-HKU’s Inclusive Career Platform. It lays out the landscape of PWD employment in Hong Kong and pinpoints public policy and service gaps with a view to identifying leverage points for action. PWD employment holds a special place in a society’s state of inclusion and integration. For PWD, working is a way to demonstrate their being and be recognized as members of the community. For any society, no one should be left behind, as the UN pledges. Members of Hong Kong society generally acknowledge the existence of PWD and are sympathetic to the difficulties encountered by this group and their families; some of them even offer their help, may it be in the forms of time, money, skills, expertise, or social network. The government also allocates substantial public resources to the promotion of PWD employment. Despite all these efforts, getting a job remains a big challenge to PWD, let alone inclusive employment. There are various reasons behind the situation; this Report is an attempt to identify them.