Code of Inclusion: Ensuring the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in the Workplace 

Article by GIZ Egypt

In the context of GIZ Egypt’s inclusion efforts, we asked ourselves “Why do we need a code for inclusion of persons with disabilities?”. “Why is it essential to have an anchored structure that ensures the rights of persons with disabilities in the workplace?”.  

Inclusion is a human right. We all know that. We also believe that it is essential for social cohesion. This is why we aspire to be inclusive, and why we continuously advocate for the inclusion of persons with disabilities in our dialogues with our political partners. Building on these dialogues as entry points to inclusion, we realised the need for a systematic, consistent, and operational adoption of such interventions. Hence the Code for Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities was initiated.  

Drawing from the German Diversity Charter1 as well as the Strategy of Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in German Development Cooperation, the Code for Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities (or simply the Code of Inclusion) elaborates on how to anchor processes revolving around the inclusion of persons with disabilities in a cross-cutting and holistic manner.  

This code represents a roadmap of the commitment of GIZ Egypt’s staff and their obligation to promote inclusiveness by removing infrastructural, institutional, attitudinal, and social barriers to inclusion within the corporate sphere

The code was developed within the GIZ Annual Goal Group on Inclusion in a participatory manner through collecting lessons learnt, expertise and knowledge. The draft of the code has undergone multiple rounds of feedback to ensure that all perspectives have been taken into account. Technical advisors and internal topic experts have provided their technical input, the portfolio management team and cluster coordinators have added their managerial insights, the National Personnel Representatives and the human resources department have contributed with their recommendations to ensure that all needs are represented and addressed.  

The country director reviewed and endorsed the code in an official launch at GIZ Egypt’s New Year Event 2024.  

The main objective of the code is outline, not only the guiding principles that we abide by in GIZ Egypt, but also to state detailed milestones we aim to accomplish and exact measures we plan to undertake within specific timeframes

To ensure the effective fulfilment of the Code for Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities, an action plan is annexed to steer our inclusion efforts towards consistency, complementarity, and institutionalisation.  

Accordingly, the Code of Inclusion

  1. Strengthens and mainstreams inclusion competencies at GIZ Egypt. It identifies the capacity building measures needed for the management team as well as for inclusion focal persons (or “Inclusionists”) who are safeguarding the consistent adoption of the inclusion measures. 
  1. Anchors inclusive recruitment. It enhances the inclusiveness of the recruitment cycle with a target of recruiting and accommodating qualified candidates with disabilities into GIZ Egypt’s workforce. 
  2. Provides tools to improve the physical accessibility of offices and venues for persons with disabilities. GIZ Egypt has developed a physical accessibility checklist with the support of disability experts. This checklist helps in the initial choices of new workplaces and provides advice on means to mitigate inaccessibility in current workplaces.  
  3. Realises inclusive development measures as stated in the OECD-DAC indicator. An inclusive project management checklist has been developed to ensure mandatory and systematically inclusive development measures by GIZ Egypt. 
  4. Ensures inclusive communication. It outlines sensitive communication tools and assistive technologies for persons with disabilities throughout GIZ projects and at portfolio level.  

With a consistent commitment to inclusion, we strongly believe that the conscious and targeted removal of barriers will continue to create safer spaces of work and interaction. Together we aim to create awareness and communities of practice and exchange. 

Case Study

In GIZ Egypt project Equal Opportunities and Social Development (EOSD), we ensure that awareness raising activities through on-ground outreach events are inclusive of persons with disabilities. The venues of the events are checked for accessibility against a checklist of physical accessibility criteria. Assistive tools are supplied as needed. This includes portable ramps, accessible toilets, sighted guides to usher persons with visual impairment, sign language interpreters and audio captions for any visual content, Braille printed brochures and info-sheets, as well as inclusive giveaways. The activities availed during the outreach events, which use interactive games, immersive experiences, short film screenings and other arts for development techniques have all been redesigned to be inclusive for persons with different disabilities in addition to being gender and culturally sensitive, resulting in „Leaving No One Behind“.

People participating in activities and games to raise awareness about disability inclusion

  1. For example:The GIZ Diversity Code stresses how cooperating in diversity entails creating a corporate culture full of respect and acceptance and one that does not tolerate any kind of discrimination and marginalisation. The diversity dimension is a wide scope, which includes gender, disabilities, different backgrounds, etc. The dimension of disabilities highlights the need for integrating persons with disabilities as a prerequisite for sustainable development. ↩︎
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