Disabled Adult Self Employment Education and Business Opportunities Australia
and SE Asia
By David Bedwell Director OBVIUS ACCESS
Disabled Australian and South Eastern Asian Adults with
potential Entrepreneurial business skills are being encouraged to enter an increasingly large range
of business educational and practical experience academic courses in both Australia and South East Asia.
The History of this form of encouragement dates back to 1917 with the formation of what is now known as the
Papworth Trust. From a small TB isolation colony location it developed the training and
rehabilitation process for people with disabilities to establish a goods manufacturing and marketing company
staffed in the main by persons with disabilities. That ethical standard was maintained and evolved into the
establishment of the Universally Recognized Pendragon Brand of High Quality Goods.
Over a period of time various charities and foundations have established pioneering educational and practical
education opportunities for people with disabilities to operate in business areas particularly in
countries where little encouragement had been previously provided. In certain countries even now unemployment is as
high as 80% for people with disabilities.
In China the Leonard Cheshire Foundation has a project in conjunction with The China
Disabled Peoples Federation which promotes self-employment and teaches skills in marketing and business
A number of qualifying students upon completion of the courses are encouraged to apply for “Start up Loans” for
their new business plan. From the conceptual sole trading opening, the business owner is
encouraged to employ other persons with disabilities. Similar Courses to the original in Wuhan
where 100 students attended and 20 new business start ups resulted are reportedly due to begin in Kunming Provence
The same concept has been introduced in Malaysia with courses opening specifically for people with
disabilities in Hospitality, Office Administration, Information Technology, and Business Management being added to
the traditional Baking and Cooking.
In Australia where of all the OECD Countries the personal
income of Disabled Australians is the lowest of all the member
countries being only 44% of the income of a non disabled person.
An important Australian innovation has the backing of Griffith University in Queensland where this
week it has been announced that Griffith Law School in partnership with The Spinal
Industry Association will help to “Lower the Bar” of entry to Higher Education.
Shine Lawyers will lead a series of workshops related to the legal profession which it is intended will outline the
provision of educational and employment opportunities available for 10 persons with disabilities to attain both a
degree in law and a career within the legal profession.
In five years time it will be Papworth Trust’s Centennial year. Currently this year the Trust is
supporting over 20,000 people with disabilities worldwide.
Let us all hope that by then a potential QC will have qualified from the Griffith Law School Shine
Lawyers and The Spinal Injury Association’s joint innovation.
Maybe among the next “Made in China” items you buy one could have originated from a
Leonard Cheshire Foundation and China Disabled Peoples Federation
These are just a sample of the many Worldwide Organizations striving to promote employment for people with
disabilities. If there is one in your location why not ask yourself. “Could I get involved?” You could
find it Rewarding!
David Bedwell is a Director of Obvius Access an Australian
Disability Access Consultancy located in the Gold Coast Queensland and Sydney New South Wales. Visit the practices
web-site www.accessconsultant.com.au Or e-mail email@example.com
May 1st 2017
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