We choose ‘the positive incentive’ way by showing the value of employment of persons with a disability. In this strategy there is no focus on ‘the rights’, though the chief goal is exactly the same: implementing a more inclusive society. In fact, using this strategy can be seen as a specific form of advocacy, using proven strategies to change the behaviour of, in this case, SMEs to be more open to employ persons with disabilities. We collect good practices, we exchange them and disseminate them. But before we collect, we define ‘what is good’, and based on that we select good practices and exchange and disseminate these selected good practices. It is the issue of:
Reaching the SMEs, by using the right channels
Providing the SMEs with information in the right way, in the right moment, with the right content
Involving persons with disabilities in preparation of the right materials about their needs for the successful employment
We define what is good:
We build on best practices. We analyse them and detect their theoretical fundamentals. In all probability theories of “changing behaviour” can be recognised. These theoretical fundamentals are needed to make best practices transferable, since when we know what works, we can adapt them where needed in order to use them in another context and therefore increase the chance of successful implementation in other countries, other cultural settings.
We are carrying out a document study to find out what theoretically proven successful approaches to change awareness, intentions and behaviour exist. And we are including these theoretical elements into a general overview of what to take into account when creating awareness and motivation to act for SMEs on national, regional and local levels, by using campaigns, developing policies, building interventions and developing practical implementation projects.
Let’s see how it works:
We are producing a documentary mini-series of videos to ensure that all stakeholders in all countries have entrance to ‘sound’ materials providing them with the support in awareness of the job-possibilities within the SME, support in the recruitment process, the preparation and placement process, the guidance at the workplace and the support in the long term.
We’ve set up a comprehensive online portal-based service, supporting a practical realisation of disability employment activities. It is designed as a multifunctional portal that integrates the documentary mini-series, country specific information source and a Guidance and Networking Desk.
Our videos and the portal-based service are also aimed at decision-makers in small and medium-sized enterprises: we are motivating and informing them about the employment of people with disabilities.
Look at the result of our project:
We use all types of social media and take actions on the European level and on national, regional and local levels. We are making an overview of all dissemination activities, including the findings of the evaluation, to what extent awareness has been positively influenced and the motivation to act has been increased. We are checking whether the existing events match the ideal way of increasing awareness and motivation to act. If necessary, our Action Guidelines shall be improved.
Innovative is that we make use of scientifically proven ways of ‘creating awareness and changing behaviour’, making use of the theories of ‘how to create awareness and how to induce change’. We expect including these theoretical bases into the practical implementation strategies, will enlarge the level of success of interventions focussing on increasing the employment of persons with disabilities. These interventions can be ‘new policies, measurements, awareness campaigns, practical support, presentations etc.
In our videos, we give a voice to entrepreneurs or HR managers who have successfully integrated people with disabilities in their companies. They share their experiences and successes. The videos are aimed at entrepreneurs who have not yet dared to take this step. We establish communication “from manager to manager”. Those who have not yet had any experience with people with disabilities in their company can get motivated and informed by the managers who are experienced in this sense. We consider this kind of motivation from “peer-groups” to be very effective.