On Monday February 16 NFDN in collaboration with DRPI-AWARE facilitated a workshop called CREATING AN INCLUSIVE WORKPLACE: Putting Theory into Practice. Nine senior managers/CEOs participated in a lively discussion of the value, issues and concerns of employment of people with disabilities. Employers represented IT, tourism and hospitality sectors, entrepreneurship, manufacturing and financial industries.
The workshop was facilitated by Ms. Monica Ackermann and Dr. Marcia Rioux. Monica manages the Centre of Excellence for IT Accessibility at Scotiabank Canada and is responsible for the development and adoption of accessibility best practices for web, information and communication for employees and customers with disabilities. Monica has a career long passion for creating inclusive digital spaces and has extensive experience with accessible software and web design, assistive devices, and job accommodation. Marcia is a legal scholar with extensive experience in community based participatory research in the areas of human rights, health and social justice, particularly around international disability rights. Dr. Rioux is a Distinguished Research Professor in the School of Health Policy and Management and teaches Critical Disability Studies and Health Policy and Equity at York University in Toronto, Canada.
Participants discussed various issues, concerns and perceptions of the employability of people with disabilities as well as how to develop a strategic approach to inclusive workplaces. The workshop resulted in an expressed desire and commitment to increase employment of people with disabilities in Nepal with follow up meetings planned with NFD-N and the DRPI-AWARE team to plan for workplace accommodations and adaptations. Employers shared several clear ideas of how to make employment of people with disabilities the norm and not the exception. Employers expressed a desire to continue to work together, build business alliances and raise awareness of the benefits of employing people with disabilities.