Is the full integration of disabled people possible in the world of employment? Not only is the answer positive; it is actually a fact, notably in some sectors considered as taboos. In the UK, a Down’s Syndrome boy, 4, will star in Marks & Spencer Christmas magazine. The company, with over 700 shops in the Kingdom of Her Majesty and across the world, has clothing brands for everybody.
If even publicists of prestigious brands are ready to believe that showing disabilities, in this case through the face of little Sebastian, does not push away customers but can be useful, instead, to increase product sales, this means that a key cultural change is occurring in our society that must be seen positively. Encouraging the integration of people with disabilities at all levels is a crucial achievement for a society that really aims at ensuring essential equality conditions to all its citizens.
In this respect, with a view to fighting against deep-rooted stereotypes in our society and job market, a new campaign has been launched in Italy. “Siamo differenti. Tra di noi” is organized by the National Coordination of Family Associations for Down’s Syndrome for the Down’s Syndrome National Day to be held on 14 October. The CoorDown realized 8 videos on as many Italian boys and girls having this syndrome who tell their story and work experience. The message is that many people having the Down’s syndrome can carry out a profession with commitment, constancy and satisfaction. But it is fundamental to know them, and to do so, what is important is: a higher support from institutions, more communication between local and regional bodies and more trust from public and private businesses to invest on these people.
A job, besides being a right, is the most important tool to guarantee an autonomous life, a full integration in the society and a decent future, for all. This is why the objective of freeing disabled people looking for a job from exclusion and allowing companies to overcome the prejudice on their unproductiveness, by committing themselves in the search for a targeted job and in more adequate vocational training, must become a must for social policies.