31 May 2005
BRUSSELS – Blind workers in Belgium struggle to find jobs, according to an association for the promotion of the use of Braille.
The francophone Ligue Braille (Braille League) is making employment the theme of its annual awareness-raising week.
“At the moment, it’s not easy [for the blind] to find a job and keep it,” the League’s department manager Ronald Vrydag told the radio and TV station RTL.
“There are three reasons to take on workers with a visual handicap: these people are particularly motivated, taking them on reflects a positive image of the company and the employer can benefit from financial aid from the public authorities such as a salary grant or the financing of adaptations needed to work equipment.”
Until 4 June, La Ligue Braille will be organising special activities designed to encourage employers to be more open-minded when hiring.
According to a European study, only 17 percent of people in Belgium with a handicap are working – a figure well below the average of 42 in the Union when it contained 15 countries.
A second study by Namur University found that only 0.6 percent of public administration workers are disabled.
Gisele Mandaila, the secretary of state for the disabled, has said the federal government will soon introduce a series of measures aimed at helping people with a handicap to find work.
Subject: Belgian news