We’ve been talking many times about the importance of work to reach the full inclusion of people with disability in the society, underlining that, in our country, we have many laws and measures aiming to facilitate this process. Nevertheless, even during the V National Conference about disability policies, that took place in Florence in September, an issue clearly stood out: the full employment for disabled people in the working age is still a distant goal. How to reach it? The measures proposed during the conference include the introduction, in all the private businesses, of the disability manager. Who is a disability manager and what does he do, exactly?
a little bit of history
Disability management, as an approach, arose at the end of ‘80s, spreading, in the beginning, in Canada, in the USA and in the Northern Europe. In Italy, somebody mentioned it in 2009, thinking about the disability manager as a profile to include into the public administration offices, to act as a facilitator, designing solutions to guarantee the maximum level of autonomy for disabled people in every field of life, from urban accessibility to school inclusion, from work to tourism. In 2010, the SIDIMA (Italian Disability Manager Society) was established: now it gathers more than 150 members all over Italy.
how to become a disability manager?
The disability manager is a professional (architect, doctor, physiatrist, social worker, lawyer, etc.) who specialized in this field through an appropriate university course (nowadays, such courses are active in Milan, Naples and Padua), acquiring high level technical skills, marketable both in the public administration and in private businesses.
disability manager and work
How would the disability manager contribute to the working inclusion of disabled people? He would be in charge of facilitating the relationship between the company and the disabled worker, both during the selection, hiring and onboarding processes and throughout his career in that organization, guaranteeing the removal of all the obstacles preventing the worker (no matter if his disability is congenital or happened during his working path) to access work or to carry it out well, regardless of his condition of disability, identifying the most appropriate solutions (for instance, smart working).
Similar processes, in Italy, are already in place in some big companies (including, for instance, UniCredit, Enel, Eli Lilly) and public administrations (for instance, the municipalities of Bologna and Alessandria). We hope they spread further, to the benefit of the whole society.