People with Down syndrome and intellectual disabilities have the right to be included in the workplace.


The challenge

Globally persons with Down syndrome and intellectual disabilities are one of the most excluded groups from work and employment.

There are many factors contributing to this including stigma, discrimination, and a lack of workplace-related skills and experience.

However, the most significant barrier is the lack of coherent, appropriate government policies related to the employment of persons with Down syndrome and intellectual disabilities.

Development policy making and programming often fail to take account of the rights of persons with Down syndrome and intellectual disabilities, a situation that is reinforced by a failure of organisations to facilitate the meaningful participation of persons with Down syndrome and intellectual disabilities in their work.

The voices of persons with Down syndrome and intellectual disabilities are often absent in advocacy work by organisations for people with disabilities, even in those organisations representing these groups, many of which were started as parent and family organisations.

Participation of people with disabilities and their representative organisations in development is a right as described in Article 4.3 of the CRPD and is crucial to more accountable and effective development work.


What we are doing

Down Syndrome International (DSi) is a key implementing partner in a programme called ‘Making disabled persons organisations equal partners of inclusive development in Africa’, led by International Disability Alliance (IDA), with partnership from other IDA members.

The programme runs from 2020 to 2022 with funding from the  Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD), and is aimed at supporting meaningful participation of people with disabilities in development, with a focus on Sub-Saharan Africa.

DSi will be working closely with the Africa Down Syndrome Network (ADSN), as well as national organisations representing persons with Down syndrome and intellectual disabilities in Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda and Uganda to deliver national level interventions.

We will:

  • Recruit a Programme Fellow in Uganda to support and deliver training to organisations;
  • Deliver training on rights-based advocacy strategies that are inclusive of the voices of people with Down syndrome and intellectual disabilities, with a focus on work and employment;
  • Support the organisations to form self-advocacy groups for people with Down syndrome and intellectual disabilities;
  • Work with the organisations to develop and update advocacy plans.
  • Support the organisations to work with their self-advocacy groups to implement advocacy related to employment
  • Work with the organisation to produce reports on good practices and challenges faced in their countries related to employment.

Long term impact

This project will increase inclusion of self-advocates with Down syndrome and intellectual disabilities in the advocacy work of organisations for people with disabilities in Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda and Uganda.

This will contribute to the shaping of the development agenda in Sub-Saharan Africa towards the full and effective realisation of human rights of people with disabilities.

We hope that these results will serve as a powerful example for other organisations working in development to make their work more inclusive.


Project updates

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.

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Our work: Employment

Read more about our employment work here:

EMPLOYMENT


Our work

Read more about other work that we do:

OUR WORK


Project updates

Read our latest project updates in our Global Support blog:

GLOBAL SUPPORT BLOG


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Thank you to our financial supporter Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD).

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