Inclusion Ireland led a project on employment in 2023 funded by the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (IHREC). Despite the ratification of the UNCRPD by Ireland and the obligation to make employment more inclusive for disabled people (article 27), only 17% of people with an intellectual disability are in employment. Therefore, the project focused on advocacy and awareness raising by people with an intellectual disability about the policy and practice changes needed to address this issue.
To achieve this, Inclusion Ireland put together an Employment Rights Working Group – 6 people with an intellectual disability were recruited for the project. They took part in training about their employment rights and the system in Ireland. The working group organised and led events on employment and developed the main materials of this project: the podcast series and the Code of Practice for Employers and People with Intellectual Disabilities.
The first of our employment events was for people with lived experience of intellectual disability. To educate people with intellectual disabilities on their employment rights and to hear from people with intellectual disabilities on their employment experiences. You can check out highlights of the first event in the below video:
Our second Employment Event was attended by 50 people, mostly employers. At the event, working group members gave presentations on how to make recruitment and employment practices more accessible for people with intellectual disabilities. There were two-panel discussions, each featuring input from a range of stakeholders including employers, employees with intellectual disabilities, civil servants who work with reasonable accommodation and employment, and other stakeholders such as job coaches.
The final event was for both people with an intellectual disability and employers. This event celebrated the achievement of the working group and highlighted the 2 materials developed: the podcast series and the code of practice.
The working group along with support from Inclusion Ireland staff recorded a three-part podcast series exploring employment for people with intellectual disabilities.
Again, a mixture of relevant stakeholders were invited to feature as guests to give their input. These guests included employees with intellectual disabilities along with their coworkers who support them, Employers for Change, a job coach from Sunbeam services, as well as the working group members themselves. This podcast will be launched along with the Code of Practice and published on Spotify for the general public to listen to.
You can access the podcast series here.
Get a behind-the-scenes look at the podcast recording in the below video:
Employment Code of Practice
Part 1 of the Code of Practice focuses on employers. It is a practical guide for employers that provides guidance around the supports available to them to help them become inclusive employers. The real lived experiences of people with an intellectual disability regarding their experiences trying to get or keep a job employment are woven through the guide and bring the guide to life. Part 2 is a guide for people with intellectual disabilities. It is an easy-to-read format that combines practical guidance on how to get and keep a job with the real-life experiences of people with an intellectual disability who are in employment or looking for a job.
You can read the Employment Code of Practice here.