A new European network of socially responsible hotels and restaurants

Valueable – a new European network of socially responsible hotels and restaurants has just been launched. This means: More working opportunities for people with Down Syndrome!

During the last three years the partners in the EU-project, called OMO (on my own at work) , have worked hard to reach their goal: to start an international network of responsible hotels and restaurants offering working opportunities for people with a learning disability.

As a result, different educational tools were developed by a group of corporations and tested by young persons with Down Syndrome and by the staff in hotels in Italy, Portugal and Spain.

The first hotels have now been awarded with the specially designed logo, a trademark that shows that these companies comply with the national legislation on the employment of people with disabilities, are committed to including people with learning disabilities within their workforce by providing internships and/or recruiting them and comply with the rules stated in the annexed Code of Conduct.

From this point on, these employers may advertise their services with the new trademark “Valueable – handing opportunities” and use it on their websites. There are three versions of the Valueable trademark: bronze, silver and gold: The bronze version certifies specific conditions and actions aimed at non-discrimination and that internships are provided to people with learning disabilities; the silver version requires a further commitment from the company, that of offering permanent employment to at least one worker with learning disabilities; the gold version is granted to those employers who recruit at least one worker with a learning disability and act as ambassadors of the Trademark.The aim is to make the new trademark as recognised as the F.I., the  green globe certificate which stands for sustainability, whilst “Valueable” stands for an inclusive setting.

In the future, trip advisor, booking.com, etc. will show the Valueable logo in their hotel advertisements to raise awareness for the awarded hotels and facilitate customers in noticing if the chosen hotel is an inclusive one straight away.

The OMO-project started out in the three southern European countries of Italy, Spain and Portugal. The awarded hotels are listed on the Valueable website. In the words of one of the managers: “It makes us feel proud to be part of the Valueable network, it adds an additional value to our hotel”.

Expanding the network

It is important to promote Valueable to other European countries so as to make the network grow. Companies with Corporate Social Responsibility wanting to promote staff diversity, who care about quality for their customers and clients and are interested in being part of the Valueable network can contact the OMO Project Coordinator Paola Vulterini, AIPD Headquarters, Rom, Italy Email: omoaipd@gmail.com

With knowledge of this network of inclusive hotels, it might be easier for VET providers to find placements for their trainees in suitable hotels or in the catering business. Such a place of work might be a future candidate for the Valueable trademark.

Anyone who knows any services where people with Down Syndrome or a learning disability are already employed might put that business forward for the network or inform the business about Valueable.