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Inclusive Companies Are “Grateful” For Persons With Disability In The Workplace


“Bakit nga naman kasi sila mag-i-invest sa [katulad ko], kung pwede naman sila mag-hire ng abled?”


25-year old Aljune Atok asks himself this question every time he goes to a job interview. With each interview that ends with “wait for our call,” he is a little less hopeful of finding a job.


It’s not that Aljune is unqualified. In fact, he has a degree in BS Information Systems, cum laude. He also has a completely blind left eye and low vision in his right eye. Because of this disability, he has experienced discrimination all his life, through to adulthood and job-hunting.


Things changed in February 2017, when Aljune was hired as a junior programmer for one of the leading poultry and livestock companies in the country.


Aljune is just one of the Persons with Disability (PWDs) featured in “Grateful,” the third and final installment of the Project Inclusion #DareToHire video series.


“Grateful” features PWDs placed by Project Inclusion in different companies, and gives voice to the doubts employers might have about hiring PWDs like Aljune. In the end, comes the realization that disability is not a barrier to work productivity, efficiency, and integrity.  The video also highlights the positive contributions PWDs make to the business, such as creating stronger teams, strong regard for work rules, precision in accomplishing tasks, work ethics, and positive personality.


Watch the video here:




“Akala namin, sila ang magbe-benefit sa amin. Ang totoo, kami ang may mas natutunan sa kanila.” (We thought that they would benefit from us; in truth, we are the ones who learned more from them.)


Project Inclusion calls on companies to #DareToHire 


Project Inclusion is a program that advocates for workplace inclusion, and enables the gainful employment of PWDs in the Philippines. Since 2013, Project Inclusion has placed more than 100 PWDs in different industries, including retail, food and beverage, hospitality, and technology. More PWDs are ready and willing to be placed.


Through the #DareToHire video series, Project Inclusion presents both a challenge and an invitation to companies: to embrace PWDs in their work pool and to experience the rewards of hiring persons with unique capabilities.


The series was launched last May 6, with the release of the first video titled “Special.” The second video, “Purpose,” was released a month later. Collectively, the videos have reached more than 1,000,000 people and have been viewed over 280,000 times. The videos connected Project Inclusion with almost 200 new job seekers and seven new employers who committed to hiring PWDs.


The videos feature some of the PWDs seeking jobs through and placed by Project Inclusion. The PWDs featured include persons with autism, Down syndrome, intellectual disability, visual impairment, and hearing disability, who are now employed in different companies. Set in the PWDs’ actual workplaces, with their colleagues and supervisors, the videos draw from real experiences of companies that now practice workplace inclusion. The videos also provide different perspectives on why more companies should hire PWDs.


As with the first two videos, “Grateful” is a call to action: “More than 100 Persons with Disability are already hired through Project Inclusion, and are valuably contributing to their organizations. Seven million more are waiting to share their skills and dedication. Dare to hire one.”



Building a healthier, more inclusive Philippines


There are an estimated 10 to 15 million PWDs in the country. Approximately half of them are of working age. Despite the laws that protect their rights, PWDs continue to be an untapped human resource.


Project Inclusion is a program of Unilab Foundation. It is anchored on the belief that given the right preparation and support, PWDs can make unique contributions to the workplace and to society. The program advocates workplace inclusion by preparing the job-seeking PWD, preparing the employer, and supporting the job transition, putting everyone in positions to succeed.


As with all endeavors, Project Inclusion needs support in order to achieve these outcomes. Parents, families, and friends can refer PWDs to the program. Schools, individual professionals, and organizations can contribute their time and talent to equip PWDs with skills to help them become more employable. And companies from all industries can dare to hire.



For more information on Project Inclusion, visit or send an email to



Inclusive Companies Are “Grateful” For Persons With Disability In The Workplace

Joemar Belleza
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About Joemar Belleza 358 Articles
Joemar is the Blogger-In-Chief of BaklaPoAko.Com. He is currently a graduate student in University of the Philippines Open University. He also studied at Maquillage Professionnel School of Makeup Artistry and School of Fashion and the Arts (SoFA). He is a bold advocate of education, environment and LGBT issues. An earner, dreamer and a lover. Before he was once a dream-sprouting seed. Now he's a tree in his renaissance and will always be evergreen. Hear him speak with his intelligent guide for gay news of the Philippines and worldwide, Bakla Po Ako. Confirmed!. Follow him on Twitter @belleza_joemar. Gay it forward!