Handling human resources with disabilities is still a significant issue for Indonesia’s education and professionals, even though the government has actively encouraged inclusiveness for persons with disabilities through various policies.
That the conclusion in the General Lecture and talk shows held by Atma Jaya Catholic University of Indonesia (AJCUI) by presenting some of the speakers a.l. Prof. Irwanto, Professor of the Atma Jaya Unika Psychology Faculty and Disability Issues Activist; Penny Handayani, Psychologist from the Faculty of Psychology at Atma Jaya University; Dr. Bambang, a spiritualist as well as a lecturer at the Faculty of Education and Language Atma Jaya University; and Ratnawati Sutedjo, Founder of the Inspiration House who actively fostered disability. The General lecture wan on December 12, 2019.
Data from the Central Bureau of Statistics 2017 noted that currently, only 18% of 1.6 million children with special needs receive inclusive education services. Of this 18%, 115 thousand children are attending special needs school (SLB) and another 299 thousand attending regular government-appointed inclusive schools.
For the Jabodetabek area, there are already dozens of state inclusive schools that have been designated by the regional education office. Additionally, there are also alternatives to inclusive schools owned by the private sector. However, this data only talks about primary to secondary education, not yet about enrollment rates in the world of higher education.
The low number of Children with Special Needs (ABK) who receive an education is due to various factors, ranging from the lack of adequate school infrastructure, the lack of specialist teaching staff, and also the community’s stigma of ABK.
“One way to encourage more inclusive education is to help all teachers to learn about the systematic teaching methodology for ABK. Consequently, all the Teaching and Education Faculties (FKIP) must provide Learning Learning courses tailored to the obstacles of each learner/individual with a disability, “said Dr. Bambang, a spiritualist as well as a lecturer at the Unika Atma Jaya Faculty of Education and Language.
The limitation of special needs education for ABK directly impacts their readiness to work professionally.
UU No. 8 of 2016 concerning Persons with Disabilities continues to encourage the private sector and SOEs to open the most extensive door for persons with disabilities.
Based on this law, it is mandated by private companies to employ 1 percent of people with disabilities from their total workforce, while SOEs are 2 percent. Based on the Mandatory Report on Employment in the Company as of October 2018, there were 2,851 workers with disabilities or only 1.2 percent of the total workers registered at the Ministry of Manpower (Kemnaker)
Ratnawati Sutejo, a Precious One entrepreneur who employs people with disabilities, said that people with disabilities need opportunities to work and opportunities to prove their work. “Because behind the limitations possessed by friends with disabilities, we believe they have abilities as their strengths.”
For this reason, she hopes that people will not underestimate disability because of these limitations; on the contrary, the disability must rise by showing their strengths through work. Precious One share their experience about that, a handicraft business that employs people with disabilities in the Meruya Utara area, West Jakarta.
This condition also felt by Mohammad Adhika Prakoso. He graduated from visual communication design in a private university in Jakarta. He rejected hundreds of times when applying for a formal job before finally deciding to open a fast-food coffee business with the brand “KOPTUL” which stands for deaf coffee.
KOPTUL founded by Adhika along with two colleagues who also had hearing problems, Putri Sampaghita Trisnawinny Santoso and Tri Erwinsyah. Uniquely in Koptul, all workers in Koptul are deaf friends.
These conditions make buyers not only taste coffee but are encouraged to interact with workers in Koptul and better understand the situation of persons with hearing disabilities.
Penny Handayani, a psychology lecturer at Unika Atma Jaya presented her research regarding the practice of inclusion in the professional world. She stated that the low absorption of persons with disabilities happens because of little awareness of the employers. They have not realized the potential of persons with disabilities yet. They view persons with disabilities is a burden for companies, lack of readiness in recruiting workers with disabilities, and negative stigma from communities who see workers with disabilities are considered unable to carry out their duties and are considered a burden for companies.
“One of the main paradigm changes is that the issue of disability should not see as a charity based or merely taking social action because what is more needed is the elimination of stigma against persons with disabilities,” she said.
The condition in Indonesia is a warning for the Indonesian government, considering that at the international level, efforts to include people with disabilities in the workplace always appear on the business world agenda. Disability inclusion is still displayed in many policies and is quickly gaining momentum in business strategies.
Involving people with disabilities and adjusting their needs related to their disabilities is an essential step for companies in terms of finding human resources and their responsibilities to the community, as well as their compliance with national legislation.