What is Inclusion Works?
Inclusion Works was a project that Inclusion International and our members were part of.
The project was about real jobs for real pay. It was about helping make it easier for people with disabilities to get jobs.
This project worked in 4 countries – Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, and Bangladesh.
We worked with 6 Inclusion International members on this project:
- Inclusion Uganda
- Down Syndrome Foundation Nigeria
- SEID Bangladesh
- Down Syndrome Society Bangladesh
Many other organizations were also part of this project, like Sightsavers and the International Disability Alliance.
The project ran for 3 years, from 2019 until 2022. The project ended at the end of June 2022.
What did we do on this project?
Our members worked in Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, and Bangladesh to help make it easier for people with intellectual disabilities to get jobs.
They did this by training employers about inclusion, doing advocacy, and building skills of self-advocates.
During this project, our members:
- Worked with self-advocates to train over 100 employers about how to make their workplaces more inclusive
- Helped 95 self-advocates get training that will help them get a job
- Involved more than 130 self-advocates in discussions and advocacy about employment rights
- Trained over 50 organizations about how to make their programmes and work include people with intellectual disabilities better
Our members also supported their self-advocacy groups to do advocacy work in their communities.
- In Bangladesh, SEID’s self-advocates made a YouTube channel called WE CAN where they make videos about their jobs, skills, and their right to work.
- In Kenya, self-advocates worked on creating advocacy videos and had advocacy meetings with their local government.
- In Nigeria, DSFN’s self-advocacy group did trainings for different businesses and had advocacy meetings with their local government.
- In Uganda, Inclusion Uganda’s self-advocacy group went on the radio and on the TV to talk about their right to work. They also hosted an event where they could promote their small businesses!
We also created:
- a toolkit for employers about how to make their workplaces more inclusive
- a report about how people with intellectual disabilities are not included in development funding
- research about the barriers that people with intellectual disabilities face trying to get jobs
What was the impact of this project?
All of the members who worked on Inclusion Works met together in Kampala in June 2022 to close the project.
They shared ideas about what the successes of Inclusion Works were and what the impact was.
Our members said that this project helped employers in Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, and Bangladesh realize that people with intellectual disabilities belong in workplaces.
Employers were calling and wanted to learn more, and even if they didn’t hire someone right away, opening their minds is also a success. For us it was an eye-opener that they were interested in what we are telling them, even if they are not employing people with intellectual disabilities yet, they have it in their mind.Inclusion Uganda
Members also saw the self-advocacy work as a big success of Inclusion Works. Self-advocates were strong leaders in the advocacy work with employers, and the self-advocacy groups also did important work in their communities to fight for real jobs for real pay.
This project also helped our members to make connections with new partner organizations in their countries, helped members build capacity, and helped some people with intellectual disabilities to get jobs directly.
Real jobs for real pay is an issue that is very important to our network and our members will continue to work on employment issues in their countries.