Empowerment of persons with disabilities is an imperative in building an inclusive society. The Government of India has conveyed its strong commitment towards inclusion, especially for persons with disabilities. The notification of the Rights of Persons with Disability Act 2016 in December 2016, further reiterates the commitment to provide enhanced accessibility.
Since 2006, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has been working towards mainstreaming disability issues into the workforce. To facilitate the inclusion of persons with disabilities and workplace diversity, CII, in partnership with the ILO and the Employers’ Federation of India (EFI) recently launched the India Business and Disability Network (IBDN).
CII-IBDN is a one-stop solution to promote employment of persons with disabilities while responding to the needs of the private sector.
Ahead of International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2019, CII-IBDN, in association with Brookfield Properties and EnAble India hosted “India Inc.-The Valuable 500” in New Delhi to bring together India’s top industry leaders to drive disability inclusion as a boardroom agenda. The Valuable 500, founded by Caroline Casey, aims to bring together 500 CEOs across the globe to commit to get disability inclusion included in the boardroom agenda.
CII-IBDN is the country resource partner for The Valuable 500 and has been mobilising industry commitment to the Valuable 500 statement.
The event presented panel discussions and sharing of experiences by companies championing inclusion. The programme witnessed participation of industry champions sharing their experiences of finding value in inclusion, presented solutions to engage persons with disabilities in the workplace and deliberated on incorporating disability inclusion in the business strategies.
Around 250 representatives from industry and civil society participated in the event.
To date, more than 200 companies globally have signed up to The Valuable 500. In India, 25 business leaders have signed up and pledged to take affirmative actions for disability inclusion.