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Grenoble Institute of Technology students learn about disability

A series of lectures and meetings about disability will be offered to Grenoble Institute of Technology students from March 18 to 29. The purpose is to raise their awareness of the issues surrounding disability. Participants can earn a “Handi” label to use on their CVs.

The two-week awareness-raising campaign is being organized by the “Handi’Mention” team comprised of 21 students from Grenoble Institute of Technology and UPMF. The organizers received training from professionals and are supervised by Guillaume Thomann, who is in charge of disability-related issues at Grenoble Institute of Technology, Yann Echinard, a UPMF faculty member, and Coline Wallays and Evelyne Jouan, in charge of the local MEDEF (the French employer’s federation) chapter’s disability initiatives. The program is being offerd with the support of Air Liquide, BD, Caterpillar, Crédit Agricole, Corys, Hewlett-Packard, ERDF-GRDF, Schneider Electric, ST-Ericsson, and STMicroelectronics.

Students can earn the “Handi” label for use on their CVs
Since 2005, French law has required a minimum of 6% disabled workers for businesses and public-sector organizations with more than 20 employees. This has created new situations that managers must learn to deal with on the job. For instance, a manager may have to explain to his or her staff adjustments to a disabled colleague’s workstation or schedule. For today’s students—tomorrow’s managers—it is important to be aware of these issues starting now!

For the past several years, businesses and universities have been working together to raise students’ awareness of disability. Students who complete training will receive a “Handi” label to use on their CV as proof of their capacity to handle disability-related situations in the workplace—a definite plus for any recent graduate seeking a management position.

Participating students will meet with disabled employees and disability-related nonprofit groups, work on business cases, attend lectures, and take part in fun awareness-raising activities like dining in the dark. An end-of-training questionnaire must be completed in order to obtain the “Handi” label.

For the 2011–2012 school year, 103 Grenoble Institute of Technology students participated and 88 received the “Handi” label.

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