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27 February 2017

Austria – Disability Inclusive Business Development

On October 13th 2016 the workshop about inclusion of persons with disabilities in the business sector was held at the Austrian Development Agency (ADA). Staff of ADA as well as of different NGOs (Light for the World, Bread for the World, Care and Caritas) participated in the workshop.

During the workshop, several topics were discussed. Some background was given about disability and the barriers people with disability face, but also how we should be embracing the equity of disability. The benefits of inclusion and the four principles of accomplishing disability inclusion were explained and several examples of successful practical applications of these principles were demonstrated. After each elaboration, the participants worked together in groups on how these topics are being experienced and applied in the work field. Throughout the day they also debated about questions such as how to apply disability inclusion to the business sector, and how ADA’s inclusive markets system development model can contribute to this.

Overall the training was rated 4.1 (out of 5). Most important take aways for the participants were the inspiring films and projects examples, the connection between theory and practice, and the positive approach of the subjects. For future workshops they recommend to invite business representatives, to make the group assignments more practical, and the provide more evidence on the economic benefits of inclusion.

At the end of the workshop it was concluded that the inclusion of persons with disabilities in the business sector is very much possible. It’s recommended to collect data on persons with disabilities in the analysis phase when a choice is made in which market system one wants to be active, to make persons with disabilities more visible. It should be kept in mind that persons with disability can be included on three levels, as customers, as employees, or as employers. By identifying barriers and facilitating to break down these barriers, we can invest in the entry of persons with disability in the labour market. Finally, the four inclusion principles (attitude, communication, accessibility and participation) should actively be promoted and used to check how far the business market is truly inclusive.

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