Belmullet organisation asks Irish employers to support equal employment rights for people with disabilities Job Shadow Day 2015 to promote an inclusive workplace Ireland, Monday 14th of April 2015: The Irish Association for Supported Employment (IASE), based in Belmullet, has launched the eighth annual National Supported Employment Week which will run from Monday 20th – Sunday 26th April. Job Shadow Day (Wednesday 22nd April) is the highlight of the week and will see hundreds of people with disabilities take the opportunity to shadow a workplace mentor as he or she goes about a normal working day. A national project, Job Shadow Day brings people with disabilities and local employers together to highlight the valuable contribution people with disabilities can, and do make in the workplace. Last year, over 625 individuals with a disability shadowed at 501 employment sites in Ireland, with 34 securing a permanent job placement as a direct result. 113 jobs have been secured through the initiative since 2008. Local services getting involved in Job Shadow Day 2015 are Employability Mayo and Western Care, which last year had over a dozen people out job shadowing a workplace mentor in a local businesses for the day. Commenting on her involvement, broadcast presenter and publishing entrepreneur Norah Casey said: “I am delighted to lend my support to such a worthwhile initiative, particularly after our positive experience participating in Job Shadow Day last year. I would encourage as many employers as possible to get involved and join us in promoting an inclusive workplace and equal employment opportunities for those with disabilities. ”

Job Shadow Day is designed to give people with disabilities the unique opportunity to get a close up look at the world of work for one day or one week in April each year to discover and learn about the skills and education required to compete and succeed in the work place. IrishJobs.ie, Ireland’s number one recruitment website, is the main sponsor of National Supported Employment Week and the Job Shadow initiative.

Orla Moran, General Manager at IrishJobs.ie said: “Initiatives like Job Shadow Day are important, not only for those with a disability but also as a first step for an employer who may have a suitable vacancy in their organisation. The increasing number of participating businesses and permanent job placements are testament to the work of the IASE with supported employment agencies and the beneficial experience of the Job Shadow initiative for all involved. We urge employers throughout Ireland to join us this Job Shadow Day and experience the positives firsthand. ”

This year, the IASE is inviting the public to play a more active role by joining the conversation on social media - tweeting a workplace selfie under the hashtag #workie, taking a 60 second video explaining why you support Job Shadow Day, or by nominating a company you know to get involved under the hashtag #JSnominate (@IASEemployment). Greg Barry, IASE Chairperson & Coordinator EmployAbility Mayo concluded: “This event has grown, year on year, since it started in 2008. It’s been a real success in capturing people’s attention and bringing people from all walks of life together to celebrate and promote the very worthwhile contribution people with disabilities make to the workplace. Having people the calibre of Norah Casey (Harmonia), Orla Moran (IrishJobs.ie) and our Taoiseach Enda Kenny, amongst others, champion this initiative is an endorsement of the business case of employment for people with disabilities. ”

“We want to build on this success and continue to break down barriers to the workplace which, despite much progress in recent years, still remains a significant issue for people with disabilities. ” Employers and job seekers interested to learn more about local supported employment services are invited to read on at www.iase.ie.