If businesses provide people with disabilities with appropriate facilities to work, they can increase their output, the head of a small company that hires such people told a recent workshop in Ho Chi Minh City.

Tran Thi Trung Thuan, Director of Thien Tam Service, Trade and Manufacture Co.Ltd, told the workshop held by the Disability Research and Capacity Development (DRD) Centre, that her company, which produces herbal products like therapeutic herbal pillows and face masks, has three people with disabilities — a man with Down syndrome and one each with hearing and sight impairment.

They have passion for their work, she said.

The man with moderate intellectual disability cuts herbs and threads after stitching pillows, cloth bags, and face masks, and his products "are of better quality than those made by his non-disabled colleagues," she said.

The man with the hearing impairment draws beautifully, and she took advantage of his aesthetic gifts to employ him as an embroiderer, she said, adding he is now the company's main embroiderer.

However, many businesses do not trust people with disabilities, and hire few of them, according to a study by the city's Institute for Development Studies.

A 2010 report from the Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs said only 6,000 out of 18,000 people with disabilities of working age have jobs.

Luong Thi Quynh Lan, deputy head of the DRD Centre, said a job is a vital element in helping people with disabilities integrate easily into society.

Another reason for the low number of disabled people with jobs is that they are prevented from working by sympathetic parents, Thuan said.

"They feel pity for their child with disability and even more pity when they work.

"They do not think that work will be a therapy for their child. It is the way for them to integrate into society."

The man with Down syndrome, for instance, had to quit his job twice, she revealed. At home, he was confined to his room to watch television all day.

"He was upset and constantly shrieked. He remembered his job and so would cut up books in his room like cutting leaves and threads."

Pained by his situation when visiting him, she persuaded his parents to send him to back to work.

Le Huu Thuong, a job consultant at the DRD Centre, said he once persuaded a company to recruit a person with disability and it agreed, but the person then told him her parents refused to allow her to work.

Parents of people with disabilities should be aware of the importance of jobs for their children, he added.

Luu Thi Anh Loan, head of the DRD Centre, said the centre plans to organise workshops for parents of people with disabilities to educate them about this issue.-VNA