Accenture and Leonard Cheshire Disability today announced that Accenture and the Accenture Foundations have awarded the charity an additional US$4.1 million to build on and expand their Access to Livelihoods program, which increases the economic participation of persons with disabilities around the world. The grant, which will provide job and entrepreneurial skills training to approximately 13,400 people, brings Accenture’s direct support to Leonard Cheshire Disability to US$6.6 million since 2008.
The award is part of Accenture’s corporate citizenship initiative, Skills to Succeed, which will equip 700,000 people around the world by 2015 with the skills to get a job or build a business. The three-year grant will enable Leonard Cheshire Disability to further scale the Access to Livelihoods program in five countries – India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan and the Philippines – and also expand into South Africa.
Developed with the support of Accenture in 2008, Access to Livelihoods builds the skills and confidence of persons with disabilities worldwide, while challenging local skills providers, employers, policy makers and media to change the current perceptions of persons with disabilities in the workplace.
“Helping Leonard Cheshire Disability extend its Access to Livelihoods program will open doors for thousands of people, allowing them to obtain the skills they need to secure employment and long-term stability,” said Jill Huntley, managing director, Global Corporate Citizenship, Accenture. “Together, we’re transforming the future for persons with disabilities, their families and employers by enabling greater economic participation.”
In addition to the grant, Accenture people will get involved through pro-bono and volunteering support such as one-one-one mentoring, resume preparation, and job and career fair support.
“Of the more than one billion people worldwide who live with a disability, over 400 million currently live below the poverty line. Disabled people are a massively untapped resource in the employment market – this is an issue we can’t afford to ignore,” said Tiziana Oliva, international director at Leonard Cheshire Disability. “This grant enables us to increase the overall economic empowerment of persons with disabilities.”