The Inclusion Works programme is testing innovative ways to improve economic empowerment and inclusion for people with disabilities, enabling them to find employment and earn a living.
Launched in June 2019, Inclusion Works runs in Bangladesh, Nigeria, Kenya and Uganda.
Funded by UK aid, the three-year programme aims to generate evidence about how we can make it easier for people with disabilities to find formal employment.
By working closely with disabled people’s organisations, employers and national governments, the programme will ensure that people with disabilities are not left out.
There are a billion people with disabilities worldwide, 800 million of whom live in low- and middle-income countries, yet they are under-represented the workforce. Sightsavers, with 10 partners, is challenging this by working with private-sector employers to change attitudes and standards around disability inclusion.
When people with disabilities have access to skills training and paid work, and are economically empowered, it not only benefits them, but also their families and wider society, both economically and culturally.
How does the programme work?
A people-first approach
Inclusion Works follows the principles and values of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD). People with disabilities are at the heart of our approach, and we work closely with local partners to ensure their voices are heard and their needs are met.
Working in partnership
The programme works directly with disabled people’s organisations, non-government organisations, research institutes and employers to show how people with disabilities can be included in the workplace on an equal basis. The focus is on both private and public-sector employers.
Practical, efficient training
Inclusion Works helps to make practical changes to the way companies train and hire people with disabilities. It develops innovative ways to train people and help them find a job. All our work is underpinned by high-quality data and research, to find cost-effective, efficient approaches.
What does the programme aim to achieve?
- To generate robust evidence of what works to enable people with disabilities to find inclusive employment
- To develop partnerships between private, public and civil society to influence the inclusion of people with disabilities in formal employment
- To work with 180 employers to test new UNCRPD-compliant practices
- To offer training initiatives and internships to improve the skills of up to 2,000 people with disabilities, emphasising skills relevant to formal employment
- To help disability movements in each of the countries to develop their own knowledge and resources, so they can continue the work once the programme ends
- For evidence we produce to be scaled up to workplaces and countries worldwide
- To increase international action and investment in disability inclusion.
The Inclusion Works programme is a part of the Inclusive Futures initiative, ensuring people with disabilities are able to represent themselves and make their own decisions. The brand covers the Inclusion Works and Disability Inclusive Development programmes, both of which are led by Sightsavers and funded by UK aid.
What is Inclusion International’s role?
Inclusion International supports organizations in the consortium to ensure all activities that fall under the Inclusion Works umbrella are inclusive of people with intellectual disabilities. This means supporting self-advocates to train consortium member organizations on inclusion, ensuring that self-advocates and family members are part of decision-making processes, and providing technical support on specific program activities.
Connecting Employers, Self-Advocates, and Families
Inclusion International is delivering a number of activities in Bangladesh, Kenya, Nigeria, and Uganda that will directly connect people with intellectual disabilities to formal jobs. In addition to our broader consortium-wide work, we are:
- Training self-advocates in all four project countries
- Training employers in effective strategies for workplace inclusion and creating new resources to support employers hiring people with intellectual disabilities
- Creating direct job opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities through the introduction of pilot project programing with employers
- Training family members on how to support the self-advocate in their family with seeking employment
- Identifying best practices for supported employment to create a global resource on effective workplace inclusion for people with intellectual disabilities
Working in partnership
Inclusion International’s members and partners in Bangladesh, Kenya, Nigeria, and Uganda play a key role in supporting delivery of the Inclusion Works programme. We work collaboratively with the following organizations and their self-advocates on the delivery of Inclusion Works activities supporting people with intellectual disabilities:
- Kenya Association of the Intellectually Handicapped (KAIH)
- Inclusion Uganda
- Ugandan Parents of People with Intellectual Disabilities (UPPID)
- Down Syndrome Foundation Nigeria (DSFN)
- Down Syndrome Society Bangladesh (DSSB)
- Society for Education and Inclusion of the Disabled (SEID)