|© Denisse Torena/UNICEF 2012|
UNICEF’s commitment to equity and diversity can only be realized when UNICEF itself is a more inclusive organization for its staff and members of society. By actively promoting the rights of persons with disabilities in employment, identifying and managing barriers to equal access to opportunities, career advancement and retention UNICEF aims to create a non-discriminatory and inclusive workplace culture.
Efforts are underway to ensure that UNICEF offices, processes and procedures, its information communication technologies and its websites are accessible to staff, consultants, interns, volunteers and visitors with disabilities.
We have developed a Human Resources Policy on the employment of persons with disabilities across all programme sectors and functions – not just those related to disability. The policy is designed to promote the rights of persons with disabilities and enhance diversity within the Organization to help it to fulfill its mandate.
To support staff with disabilities and family members living with disabilities, a Disability Accommodation Fund has been established in 2012. The dedicated fund will provide for reasonable accommodation for staff and family members living with disabilities, enabling them to overcome barriers in the workplace.
Efforts are underway to encourage discussion and the information sharing among our staff. In 2011, for the first time a UNICEF Global Staff Survey included a “self-declaring” question on Disability and more than 3% of staff indicated that they had a disability, which had a bearing on their work.
Staff orientation workshops have been conducted in several locations to raise awareness on various issues around disability and a web-based learning module for rapid online orientation of all staff members on disability will be launched in the fall of 2012.