On December 15, 2020 Inclusion Europe hosted a webinar under the “My Talents. For Diversity” project. The project aims at raising awareness and boosting the employment of people with intellectual disabilities by them with employers and showcasing that offering jobs to people with intellectual disabilities is easy to achieve and highly beneficial for the company and the other employees as well.
The event titled “Self-Advocates and Employment: My Talents for the Future”, brought together people involved or interested in the employment of people with intellectual disabilities.
Inclusion Europe’s partner, Antwerp Management School, conducted interviews with companies that employ people with intellectual disabilities in order to collect real experiences and learn about any challenges that companies that employ people with intellectual disabilities face. The results indicate a list of benefits that come with diversity management.
In further detail:
- Offering jobs to people with intellectual disabilities make for a better workplace. People with intellectual disabilities are typically very enthusiastic about their job and motivated to do their best.
This spirit is often spread around the workplace, creating a more positive working environment for everyone.
- A diverse workplace includes different people with interesting profiles.
This allows a diversity of personalities to flourish together.
- Employing people with intellectual disabilities often leads to the simplification of processes.
A simpler approach can be beneficial for every employee, as it makes procedures easier and quicker.
Achieving all the above – and more – is not as hard as employers often think. There are recommendations directed at companies interested in inclusive management, that can help with a smooth transition towards the inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities.
- It is important to adapt the hiring process so that it is accessible to people with intellectual disabilities.
- It is helpful to have information in easy-to-read so that people with intellectual disabilities can fully understand their role, rights and responsibilities.
- More reaserch needs to be done when it comes to inclusive employment and how it can be done properly.
Guidelines for employers
Inclusion Europe provides a full guide for employers with useful information about achieving the right conditions for employees with intellectual disabilities. The following bullets discuss important elements to consider when you employ people with intellectual disabilities:
- Reasonable accommodation. This practice includes changes that are made by employers to ensure that all employees have equal working conditions.
- External and internal support. A job coach (external support) or a colleague from the company (internal support) can help guide the employee with intellectual disabilities, ensuring they feel comfortable in the workplace.
- The role of families. The support families can provide to people with intellectual disabilities when they find work, is crucial. From help with getting to and from work, to maintaining the daily routine, carrying out paperwork and understanding contracts, families can make a great difference in the experience of people with intellectual disabilities as employees.
Inclusion Europe has created a series of videos on inclusive employment. The videos feature examples of employment and training of people with intellectual disabilities, showcasing what inclusive employment looks like, how it can be achieved, and the positive results it can have. Some of the topics discussed include job coaching, training, customised employment, reasonable accommodations and the role of the families.
Through the events held under the “My Talents. For Diversity” project, the message Inclusion Europe wants to communicate to companies has reached every corner of the EU, has included members that are working in the field of inclusive employment, as well as companies that implement inclusive methods of employment and are continuing to work towards being more inclusive for people with disabilities.
These events helped Inclusion Europe reach out to companies and people with intellectual disabilities, produce materials to help employers understand inclusive employment on a deeper level, and promote and realise the inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities in the workplace.