AHEAD: Association for Higher Education Access & Disability
Creating inclusive environments in education & employment for people with disabilities.


Shortlist for O2 Ability Awards 2010 revealed

Disability organisation, Kanchi and Telefónica O2 Ireland today announced that 38 organisations have been selected as Ability Companies and shortlisted for an O2 Ability Award. This year over 100 organisations participated in the Awards programme, which recognises organisations that value the abilities of employees with disabilities and recognise the economic potential of making their products and services available to all customers.

Among the 38 organisations shortlisted are 18 organisations that are first-time participants in the O2 Ability Awards programme. These include The Courts Service, Croke Park, Dublin Tourism, EMC, Homebase, Imaginosity, Medtronic, Trinity College Dublin and Waterways Ireland. Each participating organisation has undergone an on-site assessment undertaken by disability management consultants and Kanchi’s assessment partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers.

The organisations shortlisted for this year’s O2 Ability Awards together employ 49,750 people in organisations spanning eight different sectors across 14 counties, with 22 of the organisations based in Dublin City or County.

Sectors represented this year include financial services and banking (AIB Group and Citi); pharmaceutical and medical (Abbott Vascular and Medtronic); ICT (Microsoft, EMC and Eircom); hotel/catering and restaurants (Four Seasons Hotel and McDonald’s); education and training (Dublin City Public Libraries & Archives and The Homework Club) and the social/voluntary sector (The Melting Pot, Roscommon). The sport and leisure sector is best represented this year with six participants including Croke Park, DCU Sport, Laois Sports Partnership, Leisure World Cork, the National Aquatic Centre and Westport Leisure Park.

Fifteen organisations from the public sector also make this year’s shortlist including The Central Fisheries Board, Iarnród Éireann, Cork County Council, Carlow Local Authorities, Fingal County Council, Cavan County Council and the Department of Social and Family Affairs.

Announcing the Ability Companies, Caroline Casey, founder of Kanchi and the O2 Ability Awards, said:

The diversity of the Ability Companies shortlisted for an O2 Ability Award demonstrates how organisations in all areas of business recognise the value of people with disabilities to their business, as customers and as employees. It’s an exciting time – these organisations are creating a momentum for change and seizing a competitive advantage in a challenging economic environment

All 38 Ability Companies will be considered for one or more of the nine O2 Ability Awards. The O2 Ability Awards ceremony will be held on the 12th of May 2010 in Dublin, where the winners will be announced. A two-part documentary on the O2 Ability Awards 2010 will be broadcast on RTÉ 1 on the 6th and 13th of May.

For a full list of the Ability Companies shortlisted for an O2 Ability Awards, go to www.theabilityawards.com

The O2 Ability Awards programme is supported by Telefónica O2 Ireland, FÁS, The Irish Times, Newstalk 106-108fm, RTÉ and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

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Creating Inclusive Environments in Education and Employment for People with Disabilities

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