Taguig, in the Philippines is specifically employing deaf employees to work on its citywide survey as part of the data input team. It is part of a move to ensure all citizens have equal access to government jobs.

“Taguig is a city of opportunity”, said Mayor Lani Cayetano. The local government will continue to invest in disabled staff, he said.

“We are not leaving anyone behind. As the city of Taguig progresses, we want to give equal employment opportunities for all our constituents who are looking for a job and are willing to be trained even if they are physically challenged,” Cayetano said.

The new hires are the second batch of data encoders hired; last year the city employed 14 of them. “The first batch served as an inspiration. When we were planning the program we have no idea if it will work. After a year since its implementation, we can’t be happier with the result,” Cayetano said.

“They are being taught to deal with conflicts; meet deadlines; and how to meet their quotas just like the rest of the team”, said Larry Supaz, Head of the Taguig City Persons with Disability Affairs Office.

The Taguig City Integrated Survey System (TCISS) surveys neighbourhood needs and allocates the resources for it. Basic social services or medicines like asthma, diabetes and high blood pressure are provided to citizens.

The deaf staff were identified from previous surveys conducted by the TCISS that they wanted to be trained and employed. They were then trained in data processing and encoding, with help from sign language professionals.

To improve the work relationship, the city government has also taught their staff sign language.