The Mapfre Foundation whose main goal is to contribute to the welfare of citizens & society have just launched a superb initiative.It invited NGOs from all over the world to submit projects that will somehow help citizens in their country.

Inspire submitted a project to help create work environments that are accessible to people with disability. If we win we could get up to €30,000 to realise this project.

This is currently the only project submitted from Malta, and we’re up against many other bigger countries.

This is what the project is about :

Legislation in Malta is now quite strict to ensure the physical accessibility of workplaces to people with disabilities. However, true accessibility at the workplace is still an issue. Many companies do not have the skills to be able to support a person with a disability in long term employment and this hinders the possibility of people with a disability from finding gainful employment and keeping this employment in the medium to long term.

Inspire Foundation believes that everyone has the right to equality & inclusion. We are committed to shift the model of support for disabled persons from a paternalistic one to a human rights approach, in line with the UN convention on rights of persons with disability, which requires equal opportunities for all. We contribute to provide equal access of services to persons with disabilities and alleviate the pressure on public social services where possible, empowering individuals to reach their fullest potential.

Inspire is already a key stakeholder in the current provision of services directed towards dealing with persons with disability, including the recruitment of, and training specifically related to, Job Coaching, and is delivered by key experts in the field. Inspire also offers Disability Awareness Training and Mentoring. In fact Inspire has created a training programme to foster an environment of inclusion at the workplace. This will be offered free of charge to companies in Malta  and will provide employers with the skills to recruit, train and retain staff with a disability within their workforce, thus helping support employment opportunities for persons with disability. This will have a long term impact on the rights and work opportunities of people with a disability.

The course will be conducted in groups of 20 – 30 people and will remove barriers to entry to the workplace for people with a disability as the people making employment decisions will be able to relate more with the needs of people with a disability and will be armed with the knowledge needed to be able to cater for these needs.

Ultimately, this proposal will grant an opportunity to enhance what Inspire is already achieving and provide continued learning in order to improve employment opportunities, active participation of people with disability and reduces the risks of unemployment. This also falls in line with Malta’s National Reform Programme under the Europe 2020 Strategy (April 2011), Measure 3.5.2.4 – Incentives and Support to Persons with a Disability to Actively Participate in the Labour Market – points:

a) To analyse, revise and propose the necessary parametric or fundamental changes required with respect to the benefits enjoyed by disabled persons; and

b) Bridging the Gap Scheme for Persons with a Disability which aims to enhance the integration of persons with disability in the labour market in order to help them to be more independent financially and therefore decrease their dependence on social services (http://ec.europa.eu/europe2020/pdf/nrp/nrp_malta_en.pdf) (Pg. 53).

Course structure

The course will be broken down into a number of modules as follows:

Module 1

The Experience of Inclusion & Exclusion

Interactive icebreaker, eye opener and first-hand experience

Module 2

Disability at the workplace 

  • Disability, society and inclusion criteria
  • Exploring our views and opinions on persons with disabilities
  • Discrimination
  • Barriers to inclusion
  • Quality of life

Module 3

Down Syndrome

  • Overview on Down Syndrome, strengths and weaknesses & related concerns
  • Behavioural changes typical in Down Syndrome, causes and strategies
  • Overcoming communication difficulties

Module 4

Autism at the workplace

  • What is autism?
  • Difficulties encountered (Communication & Social)
  • How can you help support your colleague with autism

Module 5

Physical disabilities at the workplace

  • Accessibility
  • Equality
  • Difficulties encountered (Physical & Social)