Innovative Practice 2021 on Inclusive Employment and ICT

Lottery funds for employment support of people with hearing or visual disabilities

El Benemérito Comité Pro Ciegos y Sordos (the Committee for People Who Are Blind and Deaf) is a Guatemalan NGO and rehabilitation and education organization. In 2000 the Committee started a labour inclusion programme that trains and supports people who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind, or visually impaired to find employment. At the same time, the organization works with companies to become more inclusive. From 2009 to 2020, 703 people were hired through the programme.

“Thanks to the Committee I developed working skills to contribute to my family and to society.”

Juan Carlos Rangel GamasQuality Control Analyst
About the practice at a glance
Name of Innovative Practice:Labour Inclusion and Entrepreneurship Programme
Organisation:Committee for People Who Are Blind and Deaf in Guatemala
Country
of Implementation
Guatemala
Start Year2000
Sub-CategoryA project of Civil Society

FACTS & FIGURES

  • The programme has grown from supporting 60 people into employment in 2009 to 112 in 2019
  • 43 employers comprise a network of inclusive companies, and 70 more companies have been trained
  • 17 job fairs and career exhibitions have been organized

PROBLEMS TARGETED

Few services in Guatemala support jobseekers with a hearing or visual impairment to find employment.

SOLUTION, INNOVATION, AND IMPACT

Through its labour inclusion programme, the Committee supports jobseekers and entrepreneurs who have completed its education and rehabilitation programmes. Training is offered in soft skills, vocational skills, interview training, etc. Training is co-delivered with sign language interpreters and instructors specialized in orientation, Braille, and assistive technology. Trainees are advised on their career options based on their education, experience, and interests.

Prospective employers are offered training in topics such as sign language and orientation, and are supported to the make workplace accommodations such as installing screen readers. To connect employers and jobseekers, the Committee supports the recruitment and hiring process, maintains a database of jobseekers for contract or freelance roles, and organizes job fairs. It also promotes industry-specific vocational training delivered by employers.

In addition, the Committee manages a network of 43 inclusive companies in Guatemala. In 2018, 68 persons were hired; and in 2019 the number rose to 112.

A man and a woman are at a desk with paperwork in front of them. The man is seated on the right of the picture wearing dark glasses. The woman is standing next to him and writing on a form.

A job counsellor works with a jobseeker to fill out paperwork before an interview.

FUNDING, OUTLOOK AND TRANSFERABILITY

All the Committee’s work is funded through sales for the Santa Lucía Lottery, one of the largest lotteries in Guatemala. Fourteen per cent of the proceeds go towards funding the programme, which is free for all participants.

Future plans aim to increase the number of people hired, to provide seed capital to small businesses, and to expand the network of inclusive companies and organizations.

The programme is unique in the region but could be replicated with the necessary training and funding.

The Committee has been received several awards for its activities in Guatemala.

FACTSHEET

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