Socio-professional integration of persons with disabilities in Romania

Only 4.77% of people with disabilities in Romania have a job.
In Romania, a total of 33,449 persons with disabilities out of over 700,000 are entitled to work; therefore only 4.77% persons with disabilities are employed.

People with disabilities still face discriminatory attitudes when they want to be employed.
Almost 49% of people with disabilities tried to get hired but they had problems due to lack of information, and almost 70% faced a discriminatory attitude on the part of employers. Over 32% of them were not supported by the employment offices, while over 60% of them observed that the workplace was not in line with their health status. Also, 48 percent complained that the employment interview was stopped or there was no second / practical test after the employer found they had a disability.

According to the law 448/2006 it shows that the state institutions, but also the private companies, which have more than 50 employees are obliged to employ persons with disabilities in a percentage of 4% of the total number of employees. If they do not employ persons with disabilities, the state institutions and private companies must transfer to the state budget, monthly, a sum representing the minimum gross basic salary multiplied by the number of jobs that have not been filled by persons with disabilities.

Private institutions or companies do not want to employ people with disabilities. First of all, to have a person with disabilities, you should have accessible spaces for that person. Another problem is the opposite, in the sense that there are many people with disabilities, able to work, but who do not want to work, being encouraged with state aids to stay at home.

Public institutions could set an example and encourage the employment of people with disabilities; but unfortunately the figures show that the state institutions prefer to be sanctioned than to employ persons with disabilities.

Asked about the “ideal workplace”, most of the answers are related to avoiding the unpleasant experiences previously had in other jobs, accepting and understanding by the employer or colleagues of their special situation, a flexible program that allows the follow up of medication / treatments. of recovery.
These are part of the results of a research carried out within the Social Economy Network project – a premise for integrating people with disabilities into the labor market. The research was carried out in 4 regions: North-East, South-East, South and Bucharest-Ilfov, and in the quantitative stage 831 persons with disabilities and 498 employers participated.
The research shows that the difficulties of integrating people with disabilities are variants, being mainly about the lack of accessibility, the adaptation of the job that should be provided by the employer and the discriminatory attitude or the lack of information regarding the employment of people with disabilities in the labor market.

Employers, discouraged by bureaucracy and insufficient facilities offered by the state.
Research conducted by employers has shown that, in terms of the facilities that companies have when hiring staff from a certain social category, companies prefer young graduates (79.4%) or unemployed people (56%). Only a quarter of the respondents (24.9%) declare that they take into account the benefits of employing people with disabilities and prefer them to employment.
Moreover, employers demand the little support they have from the state when they want to hire people with disabilities. The main disadvantages that the institutions that employ people with disabilities have are the small support from the state (72%), the difficulty with which the support offered by the state can be accessed or the one with which the investment is recovered (71%).

Another obstacle to the integration of people with disabilities into the labor market is the rather small involvement of employers, who prefer to create partnerships with local actors (local public administration and non-governmental organizations dealing with this area) through which they work. Local partners function as intermediaries, and employers purchase from them only the end result of the work of people with disabilities, avoiding investing in such a long-term person.

When we talk about integrating people with disabilities into society there is an urgency of consulting and involving people with disabilities in the planning and implementation of public policies, monitoring the application of the laws in force, especially those aimed at the protection of persons with disabilities, identifying human rights violations, concrete action. in the area of discrimination reporting and interventions to amend / supplement the normative acts in order to ensure social inclusion, the support in different forms to the employers must be manifested in both the legislative and the operational framework, so that the process should be less bureaucratic, development and adaptation of vocational training programs to the needs of people with disabilities.

Educational policies for people with disabilities the main factor influencing the employment of people with disabilities is education.

The lower the level of education, the lower the chances of finding a job. The same situation applies to the rest of the population, but in the case of people with disabilities it is much more pronounced. Over 90% of those who have a disability and have completed a maximum of 10 classes do not have a job. For those with higher education, this percentage drops to 40%. Unfortunately, even the education system in Romania creates major disadvantages for people with disabilities, and without remedying the problems at this early level it is much harder to do something later in life.

The incidence of non-schooling is seven times higher for people with disabilities compared to the general population. Early abandonment is twice as high for people with disabilities. The most disadvantaged group in terms of access to education is made up of people with severe physical, somatic or visual disabilities, acquired from birth and living in rural areas. They are most at risk of never going to school. The access of people with disabilities to ordinary education, although regulated by law, is difficult, in many cases being hit by the refusal of principals or teachers to receive the child with disabilities in school. On the other hand, the quality of education in segregated education or in home education is perceived as poorer. Therefore, the integrated education of people with disabilities, although adopted by authorities at the initial level, still has a long way to go before they can be found in practice.
The data show that there are 3 categories of people with disabilities, who self-select: the first category is formed by those at the base of the pyramid, who remain without education or only with primary education. Then there are those who fight for equality with the general population, at the level of high school / vocational school, and a minority of approx. 10% who spend at university level, surprisingly close to the general population (and not necessarily with a slight disability).