Launching the  new website (from left): Ursula Mackenzie, EmployAbility Limerick; James O’Donohue, website content contributor; Helen McQuillan, Employability Clare; and Helen Downes, Shannon Chamber. Photo: Salvatore Conte.

An increasing number of companies in Clare and Limerick are becoming disability confident as a result of a six-month Disability Confidence pilot project undertaken in both counties.


The project, which was funded by the Department of Justice through the National Disability Authority, was delivered by lead partners, EmployAbility Clare and Shannon Chamber, in conjunction with EmployAbility Limerick and Ennis and Limerick Chambers; the final deliverables were outlined at an event in the Park Inn by Radisson Hotel in Shannon on Monday, 30 May 2016.


Key deliverables include: the appointment of disability champions in 8 Clare-based companies and in 4 Limerick companies; the completion and publication of the results of a disability-awareness and participation survey administered to companies in the region; the launch of a new website; and the presentation of certificates to 13 Job Shadow Day host companies 2016.


Thanking companies for their participation and commitment to employing people with disabilities, EmployAbility Clare team leader Helen McQuillan said: “It’s the simple things done with grace that make these companies exemplary. There is scope for a lot more companies to become involved in our programme so we would encourage businesses to avail of grants for disability awareness training. This is an excellent first step towards changing the mindset towards helping people with a disability, injury or illness take up or return to work.


EmployAbility Limerick team leader, Ursula Mackenzie reiterated these words of encouragement and was fulsome in her praise for job shadow participants: “We had such a positive response across Limerick and Clare with a record number of businesses hosting job shadow opportunities again this year, for jobseekers with a disability; it is so encouraging for the future.”


As the lead Chamber involved in the project, along with Ennis and Limerick Chambers, Shannon Chamber’s chief executive  said: “We bit our hands off to get involved in this project as it’s something we truly believe in; when considering a candidate for employment, ability rather than disability should be the key determinant. We would hope to see this newly developed disability confidence brand rolled out nationwide and some of the findings of the survey reversed, most notably an increase in the number of companies providing disability awareness training, greater recruitment of people with disabilities and increased use of accessibility symbols in companies’ marketing collateral.”


Accepting Disability Confidence champion and job shadow day 2016 participant certificates on behalf of their companies  (from left): Tommy O'Doherty, Department of Social Protection; Mary Holland, Lynch's Centra, Ennis; Cathal Esler, Shannon Airport; Owen Ryan, Clare Champion; and Helen Downes, Shannon Chamber. Photo by Salvatore Conte.
Clare-based Disability Confidence Champions


300516_1601 Limerick Disability Confidence Champions_edited web-1

Limerick-based Disability Champions.