Disabled in body but not in mind

One would expect the norm to be that employment is based on merit making each individual have a chance to land a job. In reality, this is not the case as disabled persons do not have that equal opportunity and there have been many discussions made on this matter all over the Internet.

Background to the post

Many disabled individuals find it hard to look for employment outside their home countries. Often enough, what motivates able-bodied persons to find employment overseas is the same impetus that moves disable individuals to seek the same opportunities. The problem is, with able-bodied individuals already find it hard to find employment and the window of opportunity is much, much smaller for disabled personnel. Even in their home countries, disabled persons present unique issues regarding their employment and this is something that employers seek to avoid overseas. The same impetus to find work overseas is what moves disabled workers to attempt to find work in other countries, but sadly many of them fail in their quest to find greener pastures elsewhere.

Disabled facilities overseas

Some first world countries such as the United Kingdom recognize the needs of disabled persons in the workplace. Many access systems have been put in place in the United Kingdom and other developed nations to specifically cater to the specialized needs of disabled people. Aside from that, many countries have instituted policies specifically designed to address the specialized needs of disabled persons in their daily lives at home and at work.

On the other hand, some countries in the third world do not have the same access systems for disabled people. Many programs have been recommended for implementation but due to financial limitations or cultural biases and many of these access systems do not see the light of day. Thus, the disabled worker is often limited in their ability to move about as they are hampered by the lack of facilities to assist them in being active contributors in the workplace.

Working overseas

Many countries, such as those in Europe, have specific disability regulations and legislation but there is still discrimination against disabled people all around the world. This is most especially pronounced in the overseas employment market, as the foreign worker is supposedly "special and better than locals". Disabled people thus are often rejected once they apply for these positions. This may be against the law, but this is just one of the many forms of discrimination that overseas workers face in their new country. Thus a disabled applicant often is unable to move forward from the initial screening by the employer as the disability is seen as limitation on the capacity of the prospective employee.

Gaining work experience

The experience that an individual gains from the home country is often the ticket that one can use to get a plum overseas job. Regardless of one's physical capacities, the merit of one's skills and experience should be the measuring stick for the hiring of an individual.

That happens though only in a perfect world. And in this perfect world, one would be able to develop one's career when working for a company overseas. As one moves up the corporate ladder, the employment may eventually flourish into immigration status in the country of work. This may take some time, but again working in a perfect world, but it is a possibility. In reality though, many disabled workers are not given the opportunity to gain experience and this limits their possibility for overseas employment. This stunted capacity is what most often used as the reason why a disabled individual is not short listed in many job vacancies.


One of the most commented about countries regarding strides it has made in addressing disabled persons specialized needs is Singapore. Though many developed countries have specific laws for disabled persons, Singapore is one of the countries that have rapidly changed many of its access systems to recognize the specialized needs of its disabled population and workforce.

The worldwide employment market

The world is in the midst of a worldwide economic crisis and the market provides very few employment opportunities for either able bodied or disabled workers. Once one is able to land a job overseas, the next hurdle one has to take is moving to the country and finding accommodation. This is a problem for normal individuals and this problem is factored to a higher degree when the hired worker is disabled. Very little is reported of the numbers in disabled workers being employed overseas but with the development and maturity of many countries, more information can be learned on the opportunities available to disabled overseas workers.

Getting on the employment ladder

As the financial crisis deepens in many countries, this makes people desperate in being employed overseas. Many even have accepted overseas work for little or no pay just so they are able to find overwork overseas. Disappointingly, many unscrupulous individuals employ this kind of manipulation to exploit these individuals. And some of these exploited workers are those disabled individuals who choose to be employed in this manner to overcome the discrimination in their employment.

It is recognized that there are certain kinds of occupations that a disabled worker may not be able to perform thus resulting in discrimination in the workplace. It should be recognized that individuals have their strengths and weaknesses but using an obvious limitation as a reason for not employing the individual is an unhealthy practice and reeks of discrimination.


Ideally, there is no valid reason why a disabled person should not be able to move to another country and be employed in their chosen country. In reality, the disability of an individual is often main cause for the rejection of the application for work. Even with a whole slew laws and policies designed to remove these discriminatory practices, the sad fact is that many employers choose not to look beyond the physical limitations of an individual regardless of skill and experience of the disabled worker. The problem still is in the mindset as well as the application of these policies in the overseas employment marketplace.