Country, Date of election
Gregor has designed Europe’s first online career platform that provides a simple and efficient way to include people with disabilities in all types of jobs. myAbility.jobs tightly integrates the needs of disabled workers into a normal online job platform, providing a centralized virtual space for all Austrian job seekers, irrespective of disabilities they might have. Gregor’s initiative transforms traditional business culture and attitudes of distrust about hiring disabled people by combatting the prevailing lack of knowledge regarding their abilities.
66% of all people with disabilities living in Austria are unemployed. The main reasons for their lack of inclusion into the job market are social barriers resulting from uncertainties concerning their actual ability to work, politically correct language or workplace accessibility. Job-seeking people with disabilities, on the other hand, face psychological barriers when job ads don’t provide information as to whether the job could be performed despite a disability and due to uncertainty regarding the timing of communicating their disability. Another reason for their exclusion is that currently many people with disabilities are being educated in separate schools and work in special workplaces, which are often detached from the regular labor market.
Since its creation in 2009, myAbility.jobs has offered 14.000 jobs to people with disabilities.
By mid- 2013 more than 1000 HR employees were annually equipped with skills to become “disability confident”.
83% of the companies participating in a survey conducted by myAbility.jobs have rated their experiences after hiring disabled people as positive and would recommend it to other similarly structured companies.
Gregor has developed an online job platform that allows employers – with the help of a simple icon – to indicate which disabilities do not interfere with the vacant job. In addition, his company myAbility.jobs offers a set of tools designed to support the employment of people with disabilities, such as a helpline for employers, consulting services to provide companies with skills necessary to become “disability confident”, tailor-made trainings for jobseekers, and an employers’ network to facilitate peer advice. Gregor is involved in public campaigns on the working ability of people with disabilities and their value to society in order to change the public’s perception and increase the self-confidence of people with disabilities.
Gregor’s goal is 100.000 job offers for people with disabilities in whole Europe by 2020. His vision is an inclusive and barrier-free society, in which people with and without disabilities live and work together. The public attention at European level after receiving the 1st European Award for Social Entrepreneurship and Disability will help myAbility.jobs expand this vision into other European countries. For that purpose myAbility.jobs is currently developing a franchise system.
With the support of Ashoka’s pro bono partners Gregor is currently starting his newest company “Disability Performance Austria” which works with companies to leverage the potential of disabled persons as both customers and employees.
Gregor Demblin is paraplegic since a bathing accident at the age of 18. He experienced the difficulties that having a disability pose for finding a job first-hand. His goal is to put an end to the exclusion of disabled persons from the labor market, thus enabling them to lead an independent and satisfied life.
He wants to reform the traditional labor market towards equal opportunities and believes that changing the public’s perception is the key to it.