We have a few projects contributing towards the inclusive employment of persons with Down syndrome, including supporting our members to advocate for inclusive employment, producing a case study on inclusive employment in Bangladesh, developing webinars on best practices related to inclusive employment, and developing a project to support persons with Down syndrome to find jobs in Nigeria.

The challenge

Persons with Down syndrome have the right to work on an equal basis with others. This right is enshrined in Article 27 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and Goal 8 of the Sustainable Development Goals includes decent work for all.

Experience in many countries shows that with the right opportunities, support and training people with Down syndrome can make valued contributions in the workplace. However, stereotypes, mistaken assumptions, negative attitudes and lack of knowledge are preventing them from realising their right to employment.

There is a pressing need to address these issues and to uphold their right to work by facilitating and promoting work opportunities for people with Down syndrome across the world and to thereby improve their life circumstances and quality of life. There is currently no international best-practice guidance in this area.

What we are doing

Employment advocacy - Africa

DSi is supporting member organisations in Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda and Uganda to work with self-advocacy groups of persons with Down syndrome to advocate for inclusive employment. We are providing training of human rights and self-advocacy, supporting 3 of the organisations to establish self-advocacy groups and then providing guidance as they plan and implement their advocacy. We are also supporting the organisations to do some COVID-19 advocacy work.

The work is part of a programme led by the International Disability Alliance and funded by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD).

Read more here:

Employment advocacy - Africa

Employment advocacy – Bangladesh

DSi is supporting a similar project in Bangladesh with our member, they are going to be working on some COVID-19 advocacy and supporting their existing self-advocacy group to do some employment advocacy.

This work is part of the Inclusion Works consortium programme led by Sightsavers, with funding from the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO).

Read more here:

Employment advocacy - Bangladesh

Inclusive Employment Case Study and Webinars

We are working to develop a case study on best practices related to the employment of persons with Down syndrome and intellectual disabilities, with a focus on Bangladesh. We are also going to be running some webinars on inclusive employment. This work is also part of the Inclusion Works programme funded by the FCDO.

Inclusive employment case study and webinars

Improving access to employment in Nigeria

We are currently developing a pilot project to support persons with Down syndrome and intellectual disabilities in Nigeria to find jobs. The programme is based on an adapted version of the UK Down’s Syndrome Association’s WorkFit programme, which has been very successful in the UK.

Long term impact 

Great benefits to employers as well as for people with Down syndrome.

For people with Down syndrome, employment provides an income, a sense of identity, contribution and belonging and establishes additional relationships and interests.

Organisations are finding people with Down syndrome to be loyal, diligent employees who can contribute to the flourishing of businesses, have a positive impact on colleagues and improve morale in the workplace.

We will disseminate learning from our projects about best-practices in employment via our global network to Down syndrome and intellectual disability organisations and to relevant employment organisations.

Get involved

We would like to share information and updates from our employment project with you. From supporting individuals with Down syndrome and organisations to advocate for inclusive employment, to helping employers hire people with Down syndrome.

Please sign up here.


Read about our other areas of work here: