Around the world, people with intellectual disabilities are denied their right to work.

Throughout 2022 our team has been working with local teams in 4 countries in Africa to tackle this problem.

We worked with the national Down syndrome organisations and their self-advocacy groups in Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda and Uganda.

We supported the local teams to conduct interviews, focus groups and surveys with many people with intellectual disabilities, family members, employers and other stakeholders. This helped us to get a better understanding of the barriers to employment for people with intellectual disabilities. We also learned of examples of good practices in inclusive employment.

We worked with the local teams to carry out employment advocacy activities:

In Kenya, self-advocates have spoken up to key stakeholders including the National Council for Persons with Disabilities and the former Chief Justice and President of the Supreme Court of Kenya. The group has also been working with United Disabled Persons of Kenya on a project promoting public participation of persons with disabilities. 

In Nigeria, self-advocates have advocated to stakeholders including the Lagos State Ministry of Education, the Lagos State Office of Disability Affairs, and multiple businesses. Self-advocates have been offered paid work or voluntary work placements in a variety of workplaces including fashion, farming, and hair and beauty. 

In Rwanda, self-advocates have been carrying out advocacy work with key stakeholders including the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Local Government. Rwanda Down Syndrome organisation also participated in a meeting organised by the National Union of Disabilities' Organizations in Rwanda on promoting socio-economic development for persons with disabilities in Rwanda. 

In Uganda, self-advocates spoke up to stakeholders including Members of Parliament, local government Disability Departments, and various employers. One of the self-advocates also appeared on a TV talk show to tell the public about inclusive employment.

The impact of these activities will be seen by people with disabilities and employers across these countries.

Each national organisation has produced a research report about the barriers and good practices in the inclusive employment of people with intellectual disabilities. These reports will be launched in January 2023.

Our global network of Down syndrome organisations can use these reports to conduct research and advocacy in their own countries.

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This project is funded by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD).

The content of our website does not necessarily reflect the views of NORAD.