Macau (MNA) – The CEO and founder of Ruh Global Communications (RGC), Debra Ruh, told Macau News Agency (MNA) on Monday that local gaming and tourism corporations would gain tremendously from including people with disabilities in their workforce.
“Macau could change everything, they could lead here. We know this can be done because we’re doing it in the United States, in Atlantic City and Las Vegas, which are employing people with disabilities,” Ms. Ruth told MNA. “I would love to see Macau really stand up. Why not employ people with disabilities and be proud of it? Yes, maybe you need to spend a bit more time training them, but as we’ve seen, when you train them it enhances the whole work force.”
According to Ms. Ruh, corporate brands have a considerable power to influence governments, education and other sectors of society, and therefore increasing the level of inclusion in their ranks would not only benefit the corporations proper but also society as a whole.
“We see countries putting penalties in place for not including people with disabilities and nothing’s ever done about it, so I think the corporate brands have more influence to change society,” she added. “The families that are impacted work for those corporations, and universities care about what corporate brands are doing, because that’s how they get their funding.”
The branding expert stated that the belief that people with disabilities “can’t add anything to society is ridiculous,” noting that the different mindsets and life experiences of people with either psychological disabilities (e.g. autism) or physical disabilities (e.g. blindness) can provide innovative solutions for different problems faced by such companies.
“People with autism or other neural diversities use their brain differently […]. There are many people with autism who have already been in the work force as surgeons, high level CEO’s but they haven’t self-disclosed,” she told MNA.
Ms. Ruh also stated that according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), one in seven people in the world have disabilities, and since many people develop disabilities after they are 65 years old, China’s large ageing population could increase what is already estimated to be the largest disabled population in the world.
“China doesn’t have the infrastructure to support people with disabilities. There are cultural barriers of people trying to hide their children with disabilities or just keeping them at home,” Ms. Ruh stated.
“The support is also not there in the education system. We also don’t know what the real numbers are […]. If China became the leading society for caring about people with disabilities, it would totally change the image of who China is in the rest of the world, or the image of Macau and Hong Kong,” she argued.
[Edited by Sheyla Zandonai]