By Nur Kamaliah Aminudin and Nur Adlina Aminuddin
GOMBAK, 19 April 2021: “Most people will lose their job in the future due to technological development, hence introducing Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) into these acquisitions is not an easy job,” Head of Futures Studies Unit (FSU) under the Kulliyyah of Islamic Revealed Knowledge and Human Sciences (KIRKHS), Dr. Abdul Wahed Jalal Nori said during a webinar.
This one-hour webinar held on Sunday (18 April) incorporated Sustainable Development Goal 9 (SDG9), which was intended to build a resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation and foster innovation.
Before proceeding on PWDs topic, Dr. Abdul Wahed shared that futures studies are a systematic and holistic study that explores how people live and work in the future.
Additionally, he highlighted that PWDs have low labelled market participation, particularly women, compared to people without disabilities.
“In the future, most jobs will disappear due to technology innovation, hence PWDs have even less chance to acquire positions,” he said.
He further stated that this tragedy harms our culture and diversity as the PWDs often faced obstacles, limiting their capacity to contribute equally to the lives of all communities.
Dr. Abdul Wahed agreed that the evolution of technology has been gaining so much speed and successfully empowered the PWDs in creating new job opportunities, robust work platforms and alarming them to enter the workforce.
“Work industry lies in the dynamic of technology and science, allowing human races to evolve fast,” he added.
Interestingly, he also mentioned a few technological inventions that have assisted PWDs, Kenguru electric cars designed for wheelchair users to drive without others and the SMART (Seizure Monitoring and Response Transducer) belt monitor impending seizures from people with epilepsy.
Dr. Abdul Wahed further stated that to identify what support the PWDs need, we have to look at the challenges they faced first, such as stigma, stereotypes, discrimination, violence and harassment.
“In general, the biggest issue faced by the PWDs in the workplace is the accessibility issue, particularly the built environment, transportation, services and lack of awareness or confidence by the employers on how to include PWDs in the workplace.” Dr. Abdul Wahed expressed.
Therefore, provisions are needed for the PWDs, particularly flexible working hours and equal rights for work promotions, to make them participate fully in the job market and contribute towards society’s development.
Dr. Abdul Wahed mentioned that a comprehensive framework is required to support and include PWDs in the job market because they are very talented and a part of our diversity.
Besides, he said that inclusivity, sustainable industrialisation, and innovation will promote new technologies, facilitates international trade, and enables efficient use of resources.
Dr. Abdul Wahed encouraged students to join FSU as this unit will be discussing essential matters regarding innovations from different sectors and other emerging issues with the aim to create a preferable future.
He hoped that students will participate in this kind of discussion to explore more ideas and creatively include them in the class activities or outside.
The webinar was also attended by Dr. Aida Mokhtar, the lecturer for Professional Speech Communication (COMM 3090).***