Armenia: Unemployment for people living with disabilities remains huge issue according to new report

A flashmob held in 2012 highlighted the need to recognize disability support in Armenia.

A flashmob held in 2012 highlighted the need to recognize disability support in Armenia.

A report published earlier this week has highlighted the shocking level of unemployment seen by Armenian people living with disabilities.

According to the report published by USAID and Save The Children around 90% of Armenians living with disabilities are without employment. The report looked at data related to the approximately 186,000 Armenians living with disabilities in order to assess the socio-economic levels and support of people living with disabilities (PWD).

According to the data found the level of unemployment among PWD is disproportionate when compared to Armenians of other social and economic backgrounds. The report also noted that Armenian women living with disabilities are even more effected by unemployment than men.

Several factors were looked at in the investigation in an attempt to determine a cause for the level of unemployment. According to one company surveyed PWD do not often apply for jobs with their business and so are not employed. This claim however is likely to be false as it seems that disabled people living with less-severe forms of disabilities apply for jobs on a similar level of that to non-disabled Armenians.

The report highlighted no concrete reason for the higher level of unemployment but indicated a number of factors that make entering the workplace more difficult for PWD.

Stigma, lack of education among disabled people, a lack of support and a high level of general unemployment were all raised as possible issues that lead to unemployment among Armenians living with disabilities.

The report however raised employer stigma and lack of awareness as one of the leading contributors to disabled unemployment after surveying several employers whose approach to disabled employment may indicate a poor level of general education on the topic.

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