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Kapka Panayotova Center for Independent Living - Sofia Skopje, 09th July 2012

Corporate Social Responsibility

A relatively new concept targeting the business sector to become involved in the implementation of human rights policies and it addresses attitudes towards diversity in society and on the workplace by making corporations a stakeholder to social policies

Disability statistics

ILO estimates: 610 million disabled people worldwide. There are 39 million disabled people in Europe. Disability is estimated to affect 10% to 20% of every countrys population. 33% of people aged 50 65 have a disability. 41% of disabled people of working age have no educational qualifications in comparison to 18% of non-disabled people.

Where does the disability lie?

Sickness impairment disability The disabling environment Accessibility + technical aids + personal assistance = inclusion

Attitudes to disabled people

Article 13 of the EU Treaty

European Directive on Equal Treatment in Employment and Occupation was adopted in November 2000: Art. 1. The purpose of this Directive is to lay down a general framework for combating discrimination on the grounds of religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation as regards employment and occupation, with a view to putting into effect in the Member States the principle of equal treatment.

Environment :
Cultural: welcoming, friendly
Physical: fully accessible Institutional: inclusive, promoting independent living, choice and empowerment

Employment Policies:
Support for the employers to deal with reasonable accommodation for their potential disabled employees;
Support for disabled people based on individual assessment of their needs transport, assistance on the job, lower capacity to keep up with the pace of work, etc.

The Bulgarian Example

Bulgaria is one of the countries with dominant special enterprises and subsidised employment for disabled people

Disabilities of the System

No support for the disabled employees at all it is made for people with a disability status but not necessarily disabled; Over bureaucratic complicated procedures, too much paper work; discouraging for real employers; Provides for subsidized employment at the level of minimum monthly salary! Time-limited! Corruption of the system.

1. Government makes efforts to increase economic activity and employment rates among disabled people. 2. The only tool used is subsidised employment schemes. 3. People with higher levels of dependency and complex needs wheelchair users, people with severe impairments or intellectual disabilities can barely get a job. 4. There is no monitoring and evaluation of the disability related employment schemes.

CSR: one of the mainstreaming tools

Generally beneficial for all parties Encounters difficulties as well
Government support is crucial for the success

How to make it work?

Study the legislation regarding disabilities, employment and government support offered; Assign a person responsible for inclusion. Develop a plan Stay open-minded and flexible. Announce and advertise the CSR policy and disability employment plans.

Employers Role :
Create supportive environment friendly for all and everyone! Behave as an employer, i.e. demanding, not as a social service! Compensate the shortcomings of the system if a disabled person meets the requirements of a vacant position!

NGOs: bridging the path between employers and disabled job-seekers At the Employers end:
- Overcome the traditional attitudes;

- Design accessible physical environment; - Estimate the cost of hiring a disabled person.

NGOs: bridging the path between employers and disabled job-seekers

At the disabled people end:
- Overcome the traditional disability culture of being passive;

- Mobilise social networks of support;

- Help them organise their daily activities as disciplined employees.

Do not open jobs especially designated for disabled employees! Do not make assumptions about the disabled candidates! Do not approach the person with lesser demands or expectations than the job requires or than others are subjected to!

Thank you for your attention!