Children sitting on a bench.
By
Samantha Ouellette
Dec 18, 2019
Photo Credit
Erwan Rogard / Humanity & Inclusion

Humanity & Inclusion is a Global Impact partner that supports persons with disabilities and vulnerable groups in situations of conflict, natural disaster and poverty. Their programs work to cover all the needs of people with disabilities across 60 countries, aiming to improve quality of life by supporting rehabilitation services, access to health care, education, employment and more.

Their work has helped to revolutionize inclusivity through accessibility, governance, social inclusion, emergencies, education and the economy.

Humanity & Inclusion consistently searches for ways to improve their programs, which has led to some innovative developments in their work around inclusivity in the workplace, disaster response, and armed violence reduction.

Inclusion of people with disabilities in the workforce: leading by example

When workplaces examine their Corporate Social Responsibility strategy and think about how to support a cause, the first thing that comes to mind is, of course, assistance through donations. But what if, instead of just listing off the dollar amount donated to a charity on your annual report, you could also highlight that you supported a cause by taking action?

Humanity & Inclusion offers corporations a unique opportunity to support by example and create a more inclusive workplace.

Through their work, Humanity & Inclusion has noticed a disparity between the needs of workplaces versus the skills available in people with disabilities. They recognized a space where they could help both parties – present companies with the people to fill the open roles and guide them to a more inclusive culture, while removing the barrier to employment for people with disabilities, ultimately helping to end the cycle of poverty.

Humanity & Inclusion works with small, medium and multinational corporations to increase employment of people with disabilities. These programs help companies become disability inclusive, prepare people with disabilities to enter the workforce, and support entrepreneurs with disabilities to start or improve their own ventures and increase access to markets. They are able to provide companies with:

  1. A tailored approach, starting with an assessment of the state of services and the level of inclusion in the workplace, so they can adapt training and coaching to the company’s needs.
  2. Inclusive recruitment processes by advising on ethical labor practices and diversity policies. 
  3. Skills development for candidates by helping to train and equip individuals with disabilities with the skills needed by many businesses. 
  4. Assessment and referral to support services to help equip job seekers with disabilities with additional rehabilitation, assistive devices, financial support and more. 
  5. Constructing an accessible work environment by analyzing the existing conditions, communication channels and daily tasks to advise on ways to improve inclusivity.
  6. Mentoring support for job seekers through confidence building, skills training and more. 

Through this work, Humanity & Inclusion is also able to help people with disabilities become economically independent. Their livelihood-focused programs work to ensure that people with disabilities, who may otherwise face barriers to education, loans and employment, are able to surpass obstacles and gain the skills they need to obtain a job or start their own business. They do this through vocational training, micro-enterprise support and economic social protection.

Their workplace programs illustrate the progress Humanity & Inclusion has made in the journey toward inclusivity, but they were recently at the center of other groundbreaking work that will forever change humanitarian aid delivery.

A new path forward in humanitarian aid
In times of crisis, how do aid workers address the needs of people with disabilities? In addition to leaving these individuals more vulnerable to exploitation and violence, emergency situations also make it difficult to access the services that have been put in place to help them. Now there’s hope to change that. 

Over the last three years, Humanity & Inclusion worked as part of a taskforce alongside persons with disabilities, their organizations, humanitarian stakeholders and more than 600 experts to bring to life a landmark set of guidelines.

Introduced to the humanitarian community just last month, The Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Guidelines of Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action are a set of strategies and guidance developed with the goal to improve the inclusion of persons with disabilities in delivery of humanitarian aid. 

The guidelines are a revolutionary next step in emergency assistance and are meant to be used by governments, humanitarian actors, sector leads, programmers, donors and organizations of persons with disabilities in the preparation for and response to natural or man-made emergencies. The guidelines’ four simple, corresponding objectives: guidance, capacity, accountability and participation.

The 200-page document breaks down emergency response options, the roles of each sector, and how to approach such topics as education, food security, livelihoods, health, shelter and WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) in a way that ensures that an emergency service isn’t excluding people with disabilities.

It’s recommended that those seeking to use the guidelines to help build and/or improve their own response programs consider the unique context in which they will be used and adapt as-needed depending on the situation.

The guidelines are still very new. Actors are excited to see how the guidelines help to break down barriers to emergency response programs. In the meantime, Humanity & Inclusion will continue to make inclusivity waves in their many other programs. 

An inclusive future
Humanity & Inclusion’s work in emergency response and economic development is paving the way to a more sustainable future. In their work, they also strive to address the needs of people with disabilities worldwide. The result is more than 300, life-changing programs  in 60 countries.

In addition to their work in inclusivity, Humanity & Inclusion has also made great strides expanding access to quality rehabilitation services, helping people with disabilities understand their rights, preventing disabling diseases like polio, promoting access to health care and campaigning to end the use of explosive weapons in populated areas. 

The reach of their programs goes far– in 2018, more than 2 million people directly benefitted from goods or services thanks to Humanity & Inclusion or partner projects. More than 8 million people indirectly benefitted from the effects of these goods or services. 

With help from people like you, we can look forward to a sustainable future that is inclusive of all. Look for Humanity & Inclusion in your workplace giving program to support their important mission.

Wondering how inclusive your office is? There are a number of ways that corporations can work with Humanity & Inclusion to promote inclusivity. Examples of customized partnerships include team building events, C-suite challenges, direct sponsorship of a Humanity & Inclusion project and more.Thinking about other ways you can partner with Humanity & Inclusion and support their programs? Contact engage@charity.org to start planning today.

Photos courtesy of Humanity & Inclusion

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Tags
Humanity & Inclusion
economic development
emergency response
disasters
conflict
workplace
workplace giving
workplace inclusivity
inclusivity
accessibility
workforce training
education
poverty
humanitarian action
persons with disabilities
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