Employability and Work-Success Factors of the Disabled: A Preliminary Study on Malaysian Visually Impaired and Blind Teachers

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The unemployment rate among the disabled people in Malaysia is still persistently high despite measures taken by the government to increase the job opportunities among these special needs population. In 1989, the government announced that at least 1% of the job opportunities in the public sector would be allocated for the disabled individuals, and the teaching profession is one of the sectors concerned. In the following year, the private sectors were urged to follow suit. However, the numbers of employed disabled individuals are still far from reaching the stipulated 1% quota. Securing jobs in Malaysia is still an up-hill task for people with disabilities, particularly for those with visual impairments. Yet, a small number of them are being successfully employed in the teaching profession; one of the most promising and respectable jobs that could be held by the disabled people. Hence, it is important to investigate the employability and work-success factors of this special population. A mixed method study was conducted to explore the disabled teachers (visually impaired and blind) and their employers’ views about the employability of the disabled people in Malaysia. It looked into the job-related challenges faced by these teachers as well as their employers and also identifies factors that contribute to their work-success in the educational settings. Qualitative data was collected through semi-structured interviews, while quantitative data was obtained using the Employability Self-Assessment Scale and Employers’ Assessment Form. The findings of this study may provide guidelines to improve employability of the visually impaired and blind individuals in the teaching profession.

Keywords: Employability of the Disabled, Visually Impaired Teachers, Blind Teachers, Work-Success Factors of the Disabled
Stream: Education and Social Welfare
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Employability and Work-Success Factors

Dr. Melissa Ng Lee Yen Abdullah

Lecturer, School of Educational Studies, Universiti Sains Malaysia
Minden, Penang, Malaysia

Prof. Ching Mey See

Professor, School of Educational Studies, Universiti Sains Malaysia
Minden, Penang, Malaysia

Dr. Tan Kok Eng

Senior Lecturer, School of Educational Studies, Universiti Sains Malaysia
Minden, Penang, Malaysia

Ref: I08P0899