Only 10% of Bulgaria's Disabled People Are Employed

Photo by European Disability Forum

One-tenth of the disabled people in Bulgaria have a job, as data by non-governmental organizations showed on Monday.

At a discussion in Sofia entitled "Work Opportunities for Disabled People", is was revealed that problems with accessibility (both in architecture and public transport) and lack of measures to encourage the hiring of employees with disabilities are among the main factors behind these striking numbers, reports.

The statistics come despite a significant number (67%) of employers insisting they have never denied to offer a job to a person with disabilities.

A survey jointly conducted by Sega daily newspaper and Bulgarian Economic Chamber of Commerce and the Bulgarian Industrial Association, 70% of companies in Bulgaria have no social responsibility program directed at disabled employees or customers.

Ruling Bulgarian Socialist Party's MP Korneliya Ninova, who also chairs the Social Policy Committee in Parliament, said a few amendments to legislation, involving laws on public procurement, integration and state budget, have yielded positive results for people with disabilities.

Despite admitting this was "not enough", Ninova argued nothing more could be done presently to alleviate the situation.

Mincho Koralski, who heads the Agency for Disabled People, said that the problem lies mainly in societal attitudes, and that tolerance must be promoted among children.

The project called "New Opportunities for the Disabled People", of which Monday's event was part, is to launch a website in which a person with disabilities could directly contact business representatives.

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