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Published on : Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Disability means different ability. As part of the 17th Disability Week, which will take place in France between 18 and 22 November, EADS and its Divisions will be raising awareness of the abilities of disabled people and promoting workplace integration. A wide range of Group events will be held to promote this, ranging from a blind food tasting to shared working days.
EADS and Divisions engage for Disability Week
Spend a working day with a disabled person and showcase your day to day responsibilities. This is one of several projects EADS will join in as part of the “Un jour, un métier en action” (One day, one industry in action) project, in partnership with AGEFIPH (The Management Association of the Fund for Disabled Workplace Integration), Cap Emploi and the Tremplin Association. Its aim is not only to let disabled people discover the aerospace and defence industry, but also to raise awareness and eliminate bias against disability. EADS is taking part in the programme for the third consecutive year, following the success of previous events. All Divisions are working continuously to raise awareness and eliminate bias against disabilities through an extensive range of initiatives.
“We want to raise awareness on the capabilities of the people and not on their constraints, aiming at triggering a cultural change and eliminating existing stereotypes. The disability week is an important lever to educate our employees” says Thierry Baril, Chief Human Resources Officer at EADS and Airbus.
At Airbus, and as part of the French “Semaine du Handicap” (Disability Week), a range of events will enable employees to share the experience of disability through sensory, educational and cultural activities. Events will include the Dark Lab, offering a blind food tasting session, and the “Café Silence” (Silent Café), an introduction to sign language. These experiences can be sampled on a dedicated bus, which will tour the Airbus sites in Nantes, Saint Nazaire, and Toulouse during the week. In order to illustrate its commitment, Airbus has also signed a partnership with the skipper Damien Séguin, born without his left hand, to support him in its challenges to come in 2013/2014.
Eurocopter sites in Spain, France and Germany will also participate, with events including the “Equality and Diversity for all Abilities” interactive conference held across all Spanish sites. Cassidian will also hold the same event at its Spanish operations.
In addition, Eurocopter will host a Disability Integration and Employment national round table at its facilities in Marignane. The debate is aiming at educating employees about technical innovations, major accessibility improvements and workstation adaptations for disabled employees.
Part of EADS’ commitment to promoting disabled employment is also to provide support in an area at the very core of the EADS Group: technology. Examples include a dictation notepad developed by an Astrium engineer with the support of other internal teams to facilitate communication. Astrium will also showcase a short, interactive play, “Handicap, Pourquoi Moi?” (Disability, Why Me?) which will run consecutively at five of its sites. The play will raise awareness about disabilities in the workplace by telling the story of Séverine and her return to work with a disability.
EADS has an on-going commitment to open access and equal opportunities
The Group is committed to providing equal opportunities for all employees, ensuring the necessary adjustments are identified and implemented to provide the best working environment for employees with disabilities.
“The Group’s drive to facilitate workplace integration for disabled people has been a key factor in my development, giving all employees the same opportunities to develop their careers,” says Rosa Maria Sanchez Recio, a disabled Eurocopter employee.
EADS organizes awareness training sessions and adheres to specific processes to ensure that disabled employees are fully integrated in their working environment. The Group has also developed a network of internal experts and external partners, to advise and support disabled employees and provide the best possible working conditions. External partnerships remain essential to continuously benchmarking and furthering best practice in this area.
EADS is also encouraging partnerships with companies or associations providing services or goods produced by disabled workers. The Group recently organized a Forum at its site in Toulouse establishing contacts between its subcontractors, internal customers and procurement departments with these companies.
Award for people-focused recruitment processes
As well as workplace integration, EADS is also focusing on improving disabled employability, leading to the Group receiving the 2013 Diversity Award from the French Diversity Council.
The award recognises EADS’ innovative end-to-end disabled recruitment process, which includes an internal team of recruitment experts advising candidates on their skills and professional projects according to the needs of the Group. The Jury particularly praised this tailor made recruitment process, and the awareness and training of all participants, ensuring that the candidates are well advised and fully integrated.