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Addressing Employability and Inclusion for Persons with Disabilities: A for-profit Company working within the Brazilian National Quota System An Overview.

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Presentation on theme: "Addressing Employability and Inclusion for Persons with Disabilities: A for-profit Company working within the Brazilian National Quota System An Overview."— Presentation transcript:

1 Addressing Employability and Inclusion for Persons with Disabilities: A for-profit Company working within the Brazilian National Quota System An Overview and Analysis of the Serasa Experian Employability Program for Persons with Disabilities (EPPD) in São Paulo Research Goals: Determine the strategies and impact of the EPPD and ultimately determine the desirability and potential for the program to be replicated in other companies. Kali Stull Disability and Work: Strategies for Equity May 5, 2012 McGill University

2 Methodology Primarily qualitative Data Sources: -52 semi-structured interviews with diverse participants ∆ employees with and without disabilities ∆ partner companies ∆ government officials ∆ NGOs and advocates for disability rights in São Paulo -Direct and participant observation of meetings and trainings - Program documentation - Literature and legislation Social model of disability analytical framework 2

3 Brazil’s National Quota Legislation Article 93 of law passed in 1991 requires that persons with disabilities account for 2-5% of the workforce for any company with over 100 employees. % Employees with Disabilities Required Number of Company Employees 2% % % % (Serasa Experian falls here, with employees) Companies fined for non-compliance 3

4 Employability Program for Persons with Disability Overview Part of Serasa Experian, a for-profit company Created in 2011 Designed to increase number and inclusion of employees with disabilities in the workforce Driving methodology: –Two-way street –Quality over quantity –Employing people with disabilities as investment rather than cost 4

5 Serasa Experian and the Employability Program for Persons with Disabilities (EPPD) Serasa Experian - a profitable information technology company Motivations to implement EPPD: –To avoid potential fines for quota noncompliance –To be ‘socially responsible’ –To improve reputation 5

6 Employability Program for Persons with Disabilities (EPPD) Strategies and Components Physically accessible main office building –Certified universally accessible Structurally accessible company –E.g. provide sign language translation, restructure tasks, alter format Qualify people with disabilities for work (training program) Form partnerships and share knowledge 6

7 Training Program Created to address inequality of education for people with disabilities Goal to prepare participants for employment (particularly people with more ‘severe’ disabilities Two training programs per year 4 month long program ~ 30 participants/program Graduated participants guaranteed work in partner companies Over 250 graduates 7

8 Knowledge Sharing EPPD as benchmark effort to employ people with disabilities Diverse partnerships with: - companies (30 partner companies) ∆ Sensitization training offered to address prejudices - government (municipal and federal) - NGOs Knowledge sharing with public - Tri-annual Forum for People with Disabilities - Publicity in media - Publications 8

9 Impact of the EPPD Serasa Experian employs 83 people with disabilities * – 3.2 % of the Serasa workforce (1.8% below the quota) – 23 hearing impaired – 19 visual impaired – 40 with a physical disability – 1 with a cognitive disability –38 men, 45 men Majority of employees with disabilities stay at company > 3 years *As of August 2011, number has ranged from 80 to 93 since 2001 Average income of employees with disabilities: 49% > average income for people with disabilities in Brazil 47% < average income at Serasa Experian 9

10 Impact of the EPPD Equality, Inclusion and Respect Independence –“ It's really important, I think that having a job and being inserted in the job market is what gives you the biggest equality in a social world, so it's been really important. The professional insertions creates a big cycle of things because when you get money, you spend money, you start traveling, you start going places, so the conquer of a job, it allows you to have other achievements. ” – “ My father used to be the only money and now it's not the case anymore. So, I can feel responsible, I can feel, I could decide things in my life. ” - Employee with visual disability Self-esteem –“ It's important…not only professionally but also personally to have something, that will work with your self-esteem, making you feel better with yourself.” –Employee with physical disability 10

11 Impact of the EPPD Confronting Prejudices –“I think Serasa is doing a really big role to break the paradigms…it opens the head of people to realize that many barriers are in our heads.” - Employee at Serasa –“It made the team much more humane in this aspect and it taught us how to deal with a person with down syndrome, not only in the job environment, but in life, society.” - Employee at Serasa Positive Effect on Partner Companies –Continued support –Well-prepared employees –Increase diversity of employees with disabilities 11

12 Challenges and Limitations Difficulty securing promotions Lack of leadership opportunities –Only 3 of the 83 employees with disabilities hold leadership positions. Individual prejudice Lack of leadership support Lack of professional fulfillment at entry level positions São Paulan culture: –Discrimination and patronizing of people with disabilities –Poverty 12

13 Essential Elements Large budget Support from upper management Strong program leadership –experienced, well-connected, knowledgeable Specific program department and point person(s) Culture of ‘social responsibility’, people-oriented company Strong, clear methodology of program (Quota legislation/fine as additional financial incentive) 13

14 A: Blind employee and guide dog B: EPPD founder and leader, Mr. Ribas C: Braille printer D: Serasa’s knowledge center E: Libras, Brazilian sign language 14 A B C D E


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