Concerned about the current low awareness regarding inclusive workplace and environment for persons with disabilities, the ASEAN Youth Organization (AYO), along with the General Election Network for Disability Access (AGENDA) and International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), with the support of Australian Aid, created a workshop. This workshop aims to show the best practice of an inclusive workplace, accommodate persons with disabilities, and the platform to share their needs to have an inclusive workplace and raise awareness about persons with disabilities needs in the workplace. Lastly, it aims to provide information about essential things in creating a disability-friendly workplace environment.
With that being said, AYO came up with #BridgetheGap! Workshop on Disability-Inclusive Workplace and Environment for Persons with Disabilities. The event was opened by Michael Nugraha Budiarto, the Vice President of the ASEAN Youth Organization, and H.E. Yuyun Wahyuningrum, the Indonesian Representative of the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights. In the workshop, Michael highlighted the importance of the role of young people in building an inclusive workplace environment. Meanwhile, H.E. Yuyun Wahyuningrum highlighted the ASEAN strategic plan to achieve inclusive development through improving inclusive workplaces.
In the following workshop session, Diva Asnawi from Koneksi Indonesia Inklusif (Konekin), one of the social start-ups in Indonesia that focus on advocating disabilities issues, highlighted the urgency of establishing an inclusive work environment that can promote decent workplaces and fair employment opportunities for persons with disabilities. She said that inclusivity in the workplace is not a result, and it’s more than jargon. It is a whole journey and continuing process that the companies are willing to take. Furthermore, based on her explanation, inclusivity in the workplace can be achieved by the collective efforts of everybody that can ensure the environment is supporting and fulfilling the needs of persons with disabilities through policies, systems, cultures, and building designs.
Moderated by Holland Loyola, Alister Ong as the second-panel speaker, was sharing his experiences throughout his journey as a worker with a disability, namely Cerebral Palsy. He explained the best practice of an inclusive workplace by providing disability-friendly facilities, infrastructure, and work culture. He acknowledged that being inclusive means the different groups of people, including persons with disabilities, come together, have the same opportunities to participate, and get the same resources they need. On top of that, he stated that it could be achieved by providing them with the facilities that can accommodate them, especially for him coming from a physical disability background. And lastly, Arvin Widiawan, as a representative from an organization that focuses on advocating for inclusivity for persons with disabilities, highlighted the importance of being respected instead of being judgemental.
Jointly written by: Michael Nugara Budiarto, Senjaya Mulia, and Citra Melati.
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