Some 15 per cent of the world’s population (one billion people) experience some form of disability, with a higher prevalence in developing countries. People with disability usually are at higher risk of experiencing limited opportunity to access education and educational facilities, poorer nutrition and health outcomes, lower levels of employment, and higher poverty rates. People with disability also experience various barriers to social and economic inclusion in society.
Quantitative information gathered from the National Socio-Economic Survey (Susenas) March 2019 found that more than 9 percent of Indonesia’s population have a disability (23.3 million). People with disability still face challenges in accessing different basic services such as birth certificates, education, social protection including health insurance, and difficulties in entering the labour market and employment.
Developing countries continue to work towards guaranteeing more inclusiveness for people with disability by:
• ensuring an enabling and easily accessible environment;
• shifting the policy perspective from charity and segregated solutions (such as residential or special schools) towards human rights and social justice;
• equalising opportunities and full inclusion and participation of people with disability in society; and
• recognising that disability is caused by both physical and environmental factors.
Barriers to accessing basic services should be removed to enable people with disability in Indonesia to fully participate in society. These include better access to education–especially early childhood and secondary education. Access to social protection schemes should be expanded, especially the non-contributory schemes–such as ASPD (Asistensi Sosial Penyandang Disabilitas: Social Assistance for Persons with Disability) as well as a disability grants under the Indonesia Conditional Cash Transfer Program (Program Keluarga Harapan: PKH) which currently cover around 22,500 individuals and 300,000 individuals respectively. The current non-contributory social protection schemes that are tax-funded by the government cover less than 1 percent of the total population of people with disability.
Access to the labour market and employment for people with disability also needs to be increased. Central and local government, the private sector, and the overall community need to work together to provide better opportunities for people with disability to better participate in the labour market and earn better wages. As described in this analysis in detail, only 46.6 percent of people with disability participate in the labour market and many of those are working in the informal sector for low wages.
Indonesia also needs to consider different concessions for people with disability so they have the maximum and full experience in society. Different strategies such as creating service providers (like those that are found in developed countries) that can provide information on, and be a point of referral to, health, education, and social protection services, to relevant training, courses or potential jobs need to be made available and easily accessible for people with disability in Indonesia. These strategies should be part of the mandate for both national and local government to realise the objectives of Law No. 8/2016 on People with Disability.