Deaf employees in India are not satisfied with their salary, as per a report by Centum Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Centum Learning (a Bharti Group company). The report, ‘Working experiences of Deaf Employees in India’ said that 52 percent of the respondents are not satisfied with their salary. They feel they are underpaid compared to the amount of work they undertake.
“While discussing with the focus groups, the deaf employees expressed that they work much more than they get paid for. They also shared that they are forced to stick to the same job because of lack of options available for them in the job market,” the report said.
The bilingual (written English and videos signed in Indian Sign language) survey done by Centum GRO, an initiative of Centum Foundation to empower the Deaf in India, reflects the limited opportunities for the deaf, challenges due to limited accessibility and employers being unaware about creating inclusive spaces for the deaf.
Alim Chandani, Head, Centum said that getting jobs for deaf women is more challenging in India. “A meager percentage of the employed deaf people are working in domains like Accounting and IT, 7 percent as graphic designers and very few are self-employed. The job market open for deaf people is still stereotypically in retail stores, housekeeping roles, waiters or at the maximum level, a data entry operator,” said Chandani.
According to the report, only 56 percent of deaf people have access to a sign language interpreter during the interview and provided with accessible services during training programmes. Further, 42.6 percent of the deaf employees did not experience any cultural sensitization workshop at their workplace.
Many companies have doubts when it comes to hiring the deaf as to how will one communicate with them and what efforts need to be taken to make sure that they are included in company activities, the report said.
When asked about the requirements at the workplace to enable a more conducive working environment for them, 45 percent of the respondents stated that deaf awareness training for regular employees was of utmost priority.
Creating positive change at the workplace was another suggestion offered by 38 percent of the respondents. To facilitate ease of communication and accessibility, 39 percent of the respondents suggested that providing sign language interpreter and/or other accessible services.
About 70 million (out of a total population of 1.86 billion) people with disabilities (PwDs) are currently living in India. Only 1 million of these PwDs are employed while a large segment is still struggling at finding suitable employment opportunities. One of the key steps in this direction is the launch of the National Action Plan 2015 by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The goal of this plan is to create 2.5 million jobs for people with disabilities by 2022.