Continuing our work on inclusive employment, this month the Inclusion International team visited Lagos, Nigeria to learn what the challenges to seeking employment look like in Nigeria from self-advocates.
Twenty (20) self-advocates from Down Syndrome Foundation Nigeria (DSFN) participated in the employment workshop, where they learned about the CRPD and their right to inclusive employment in Article 27, talked about the barriers to employment for people with intellectual disabilities in Nigeria, and came up with solutions for how to do advocacy on employment in their own lives.
II’s consultation workshop in Nigeria is part of our work on the Inclusion Works! project, a UK Aid (DFID) funded project that aims to improve access to employment for people with disabilities in 4 countries – Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, and Bangladesh. Inclusion International is working with our members and partners in these four countries to support self-advocate participation in conversations about inclusive employment, to educate families and employers about including people with intellectual disabilities in the workplace, and to build capacity for engaging in advocacy on employment for II members and partners.
During the consultation, self-advocates told us that it challenging to get a job outside because stigma and employer attitudes are the biggest barrier to employment in Nigeria. Self-advocates told us that their families are usually the ones who help people to get jobs, and that their families need more support to help them do this. Self-advocates in Nigeria also highlighted that the challenges finding a job for people with intellectual disabilities from low-income backgrounds are even great, and that the Inclusion Works! project needs to address this to ensure equal access to employment.
As we have consulted self-advocates in Kenya and Uganda, Bangladesh, Namibia, and Nigeria about barriers to employment, we have learned that the challenges people with intellectual disabilities face seeking employment are similar around the world. All of the information that self-advocates have told us about barriers to employment will help us plan different project activities for Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, and Bangladesh to help make sure that self-advocates, families, and employers are all prepared to support inclusive employment, in line with our Call to Action on Real Jobs.