Employment in the open labour market is of critical importance for persons with disabilities for living independently. Data shows that this is far from reality in most countries of the world, employment rates even decrease in some countries, especially in those that are in economic crises.

Still there are excellent practices of employers and employment strategies out there. Strategies where abilities and not disabilities are in focus. Others were diversity and service for customers with disabilities support the business case, or where there is evidence that the inclusion of employers with disabilities improves identification and motivation of all staff members. Or models – especially important in low income countries or rural areas – where self-employment is supported, or home-based work is organized.

The Zero Project has already identified several outstanding employment models in the past. For example:

Arunim, founded in 2008 in India, is a path breaking initiative, dedicated to create opportunities for people with developmental disabilities. Its activities range from policy level interventions to providing information, offering training in product design, introducing technology-based solutions and marketing opportunities to all its members. For more information see: https://www.facebook.com/ArunimIndia?fref=nf

Discovering hands from Germany uses the superior tactile perception of blind and visually impaired persons to improve palpatory diagnosis in the early detection of breast cancer. For more information see: http://www.discovering-hands.de

Gragger Bakery and Caritas:A bakery in Upper Austria and Caritas have organized Backma`s, a project that provides vocational on-the-job training for adolescents with disabilities. Under the supervision of mentors, the apprentices acquire practical skills in the production of pastries in a full-fledged working bakery in Linz so that they are then able to find employment in the open labour market. For more information see: http://www.gragger.at/ueber-gragger/menschen

Specialisterne from Denmakris internationally recognised as the first and foremost example of how highly functioning people with autism can become effectively integrated in society and provide valuable, high quality services to their employers.For more information see: http://specialisterne.com/

Wipro,one of indian biggest IT corporations, has committed itself to an employment strategy that ensures that inclusion becomes an integral part of culture and working. Wipro’s hiring policy for persons with disabilities is merit-based across all roles and not just in “identified jobs”, support functions or non-core function . For more information see:  www.wipro.org/sustainability/people_with_disabilities.html

So, if you are an employer who has also established an inclusive and accessible work space, from Small- and Medium Sized Enterprise to worldwide leading corporations – please come forward with your nomination! Here: http://zeroproject.org/downloads/#toggle-id-1