Job matching site promotes employment for PWDs

EXPERIENCE. Users try out the daretohiremenow.com website. Photo by Project Inclusion / Unilab Foundation

EXPERIENCE. Users try out the daretohiremenow.com website.

Photo by Project Inclusion / Unilab Foundation

This is a press release from Unilab Foundation:

MANILA, Philippines - Persons with Disabilities now have a venue where they show what they can contribute to the workplace and the society after the website daretohiremenow.com was introduced last July 15, 2016 at the Bayanihan Center, Mandaluyong City.

The website, daretohiremenow.com, is a PWD-centric, self-advocacy website that enables Persons with Disability (PWDs) to promote their skills, capabilities, and work preferences in order to find gainful employment. It is created through Unilab Foundation’s Project Inclusion.

More than 60 PWDs – from persons with intellectual disabilities to those with physical impairments attended the launch. They were the first batch of jobseekers who signed up and created their skills-based resume online. To increase their confidence in applying for work, a job process simulation was also held during the launch. 

Job seekers of different abilities – some have been seeking employment for years, others have never been in an interview before – had a glimpse of what it feels like to apply for a job. The simulation included Skills Assessment, Resume Building, and Practice Interviews.

Skills-based job matching 

Daretohiremenow.com deviates from the traditional recruitment practice where diplomas and degrees are the main qualifications for job positions.  Instead, it matches the specific skills of jobseekers with the job requirements from employers.

It aims to steer courage and build confidence for both the employee and potential employer. With daretohiremenow.com, PWDs have a platform where they can be assessed by their skills and capabilities. At the same time, it assures employers that a system is in place to ensure that the company’s needs are perfectly matched.

Self-advocacy towards inclusion  

The website launch was also Project Inclusion’s movement towards self-advocacy among persons who are differently-abled.

“It is time that PWDs champion themselves - as themselves. It is time that we allow them to become more independent; to communicate and assert their own interests, desires, and needs. It is time for them to advocate their own rights for education, inclusion, and employment,” says Rhodora Palomar-Fresnedi, ULF Executive Director. 

“It is our job to set the right conditions, and create the environment for them to do that.”

Thus, the website includes enabling features that cater to different kinds of disabilities. Its resumé builder is both text- and photo-based, for the ease of understanding and utilization of Persons with Intellectual Disabilities. Other features include text-to-speech for the blind, and a magnifying glass function for persons with low vision. The website was developed in consultation with experts in special education and occupational therapy.

UNITED. Partners for inclusion take a picture for posterity. Photo by Project Inclusion / Unilab Foundation

UNITED. Partners for inclusion take a picture for posterity.

Photo by Project Inclusion / Unilab Foundation

The website in itself is proof to the contribution that PWDs can make. Daretohiremenow.com is done in partnership with Bootstrap Digital and Tech Ventures, Inc. an inclusive company that employs PWDs. Three PWDs were involved in the project - a Deaf person, and a person with physical impairment, are the lead developers of the site, while images used in the website were original works of a Deaf graphic artist.

A different kind of dare 

Daretohiremenow.com sheds a new light to the term “dare”. Translated as hamon, the term is often perceived as negative in Filipino culture.  “Dare to hire me” connotes a different kind of challenge – a challenge for companies to employ PWDs for their exceptional contribution rather than their disability.

In fact, the event also marked the start of the official partnership with three (3) new employers – Chef’s Secret, Tri-vision Ventures, Inc. and Lundy Solutions. Memoranda of Agreement were signed between ULF and the three companies who dared to hire PWDs.

“The website is not a project of just one organization, because inclusion is the job of everyone,” Palomar-Fresnedi emphasized.

The movement dares parents to encourage their children to go out and apply for jobs. It dares neurotypical individuals to volunteer as job coaches. It dares PWDs to sign up, create, and submit their resumés. And most importantly, it dares companies to discover the rewards of hiring people who have exceptional contributions in the workplace. - Rappler.com

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