Celebrating World Down Syndrome Day 2024

Individuals with disabilities encounter numerous obstacles when it comes to securing and maintaining employment opportunities. These barriers can significantly impede their ability to seek and retain gainful employment.

According to a 2023 Harvard Business Review article, in the United Kingdom, the employment rate for people with some form of disability (who make up 20% of the working-age population) is just 53%, far less than the 81% rate for people without disabilities.

The Down’s Syndrome Association (DSA)states that people with Down syndrome frequently encounter prejudice, low expectations, discrimination, impediments to employment, stereotyping, and other unfavourable attitudes.

In celebration of World Down Syndrome Day, commemorated annually on March 21st, Omni Group has made hiring individuals with Down syndrome an integral part of its employment structure. This has brought qualitative and quantitative success to Omni and, most importantly, to those employed with Down syndrome.

Steven Foster, CEO of Omni FM, says, “At Omni, we’re proud of the positive impact that comes from having individuals with Down syndrome on our team. Their inclusion has demonstrably boosted our entire workforce’s morale and overall well-being. We value the skills and dedication they bring to their roles, and their contributions are invaluable to our success. This initiative wouldn’t be possible without our partnership with WorkFit, which provides a crucial platform for connecting talented individuals with disabilities to meaningful employment opportunities. We’re committed to building a truly inclusive workplace and look forward to continuing our collaboration with WorkFit.”

Through the partnership with WorkFit, a program established by the DSA that facilitates collaboration between employers and individuals with Down’s syndrome seeking employment opportunities, Omni successfully hired two individuals after partnering with WorkFit at the beginning of January 2024.

Omni has gained invaluable experience hiring individuals with Down syndrome thanks to the WorkFit programme.  The program has provided a strong foundation for supporting and training new hires and transparent mechanisms for ongoing assistance to ensure their success in their roles.

Participating in the WorkFit program has enriched the experience for Omni employees who work alongside participants. They’ve gained valuable new skills, including making reasonable adjustments, a key aspect of the WorkFit approach. This focus on breaking down tasks and taking a flexible approach to suit the individual has proven beneficial for employees with Down syndrome.

Steven Foster adds, “Working with WorkFit has been enlightening. Our employees and new hires with Down syndrome have made a significant impact. Observing the change in attitudes and the growth of team spirit has been truly inspiring. The guidance provided by WorkFit has been extremely beneficial, extending not only to our employees but also to our clients. I am incredibly proud that Omni is involved in this initiative.”

The partnership with WorkFit transcends mere employment for individuals with Down syndrome. It’s a transformative collaboration, a ripple effect of positive change and shattering preconceptions. Our journey began with recognising their unique talents and a vision to empower our clients. However, the impact has blossomed far beyond our initial goals, with our clients actively embracing the immense value these individuals bring.

As we celebrate and reflect on World Down Syndrome Day, hiring individuals with Down syndrome has been a transformative experience at Omni. Their contributions have deepened the company culture, not only through their diverse perspectives and talents but also through their dedication and skill. Looking ahead, Omni firmly believes in employing individuals with Down syndrome and continues to support the WorkFit initiative. We are committed to creating a space where all individuals can thrive and contribute to our success.

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