Embracing Inclusivity

Embracing Inclusivity

03 Apr 2024

Kempinski enrols individuals with special needs onto internship programme

Accra, 3 April 2024 — Individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often face challenges within educational institutions, communities and workplaces, and the rally for inclusivity has become the guiding principle to transcend boundaries and tailor support to each individual’s unique needs.

Influenced by cultural beliefs and stigma and inadequate awareness or knowledge about ASD, autistic people, often eager to work, tend to have lower employment rates compared with their peers, which significantly impacts these individuals’ livelihoods. However, connecting the many skilled individuals, based on their abilities, interests and talents, with the proper roles can offer workplaces a unique opportunity to leverage these strengths. For instance, their attention to detail, incredible level of concentration and ability to memorise factual knowledge, amongst others, can open up new possibilities for businesses. This includes higher productivity, increased morale, improved products and services and ultimately increased bottom lines.

Particularly, the tourism and hospitality sector, noted as a significant contributor to Ghana’s economy, through creating jobs and promoting development can demonstrate workplace inclusivity and create environments where everyone, regardless of their background or ability, feels welcomed, valued and respected. It is in this regard that, as the world celebrated Autism Awareness Day, Kempinski Hotel Gold Coast City Accra reflected on its journey towards creating a more inclusive and supportive environment for individuals with special needs.

Under its flagship corporate social responsibility programme, BE Health, the five-star luxury hotel has looked to positively impact its local community through a host of social interventions and initiatives. Last year, Kempinski Hotel Gold Coast City Accra marked a significant milestone when it hosted ‘Smiles at Kempinski’ in collaboration with Klicks Africa Foundation and Woodfield Manor Autism & Special Needs School. This heartwarming event was dedicated to spreading joy and creating unforgettable experiences for young people with special needs, showcasing the belief that everyone deserves moments of happiness and inclusion.

As part of an empowering initiative, the hotel has undertaken a special project to support the communal integration of these individuals with special needs through employment opportunities for key talents, highlighting their efforts to create meaningful and long-lasting contributions to the social welfare of their community.

To demonstrate this commitment to diversity, the hotel has welcomed three talented students from the Klicks Africa Foundation for internships. Working in key operational departments offers them opportunities to gain meaningful employment experiences, improve their soft skills and integrate through social interactions.

Engaging its employees has been critical to the successful implementation of this initiative, as it contributes to an inclusive workplace. Training workshops on working with people with autism were organised, not only to improve workplace accessibility for workers with disabilities but also to improve the internal awareness of neurodiversity and autism. By opening its doors to individuals with special needs, the hotel not only enriches its team with diverse talents but also contributes to a more inclusive job market. The hope is that these efforts will inspire other organisations to embrace similar initiatives, fostering a workplace culture where everyone's talents and abilities are recognised and celebrated.

As World Autism Awareness Day was commemorated, Kempinski Hotel Gold Coast City Accra reaffirmed its commitment to inclusivity, understanding and acceptance. Together, we can all build a world where everyone has the opportunity to shine and meaningfully contribute to society.