Jakarta (ANTARA) - The National Commission on Disabilities (KND) has said that the negative stigma surrounding workers with disabilities increases discrimination against them in the workplace.

KND commissioner Fatimah Asri said here on Friday that this negative stigma affects the self-image of people living with disabilities who are a part of the professional workforce.

In relation to self-image, negative stigma refers to companies and work environments not understanding the obstacles and abilities of workers with disabilities well, which often puts them on an unequal footing, she explained.

"They have to understand what it's like when they employ people with disability. They must understand what accessibility and appropriate accommodation are," she said.

When companies and work environments do not understand the capacity of workers with disabilities and are stuck with a negative stigma, according to her, they tend to view workers with disabilities as a hindrance and blame their disabilities.

Such companies and work environments can wind up normalizing or even perpetuating discrimination against people living with disabilities because they consider such workers unable to fully contribute at work, she said.

"So, they think that adjustments to the rights of workers with disabilities should be reduced. From their perspective, the important thing is that it is already good that people with disabilities can work; their salaries and rights are overlooked," she pointed out.

The commissioner said she believes that when companies provide appropriate accessibility and accommodation to workers with disabilities, they perform as well as other workers.

Therefore, she added, the commission held an audience with the Ministry of Manpower and the Indonesian Employers Association (Apindo) to advocate the rights of people with disabilities in the world of work, including providing education on social obstacles faced by workers with disabilities.

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Translator: Hana Dewi, Raka Adji
Editor: Tia Mutiasari
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