UNDP launches online course ‘How to Become an Inclusive Business’ for employers

The new course is packed with useful information for businesses that want to hire people with disabilities and create a barrier-free working environment.

March 5, 2024
Photo: Marcus Aurelius / Pexels

Kyiv, March 5, 2024 — The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Ukraine has launched a new online course, called “How to Become an Inclusive Business,” to encourage companies in Ukraine to take on more staff with disabilities.

The right to work and employment is recognized by the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, however, as reported by the Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine, only 16% of people with disabilities in Ukraine are employed. 

UNDP, with financial support from the governments of the Republic of Korea and Germany, developed its new course to improve these statistics, and promote the right to work and employment by providing employers with the knowledge and tools to effectively employ people with disabilities, as well as create barrier-free workplaces.

UNDP Project Manager for Rehabilitation and Inclusion Olena Ivanova says that every employer should understand that a person having a disability does not mean they cannot work effectively. 

“In most cases, a suitable job can be found for a person, taking into account their abilities and disabilities,” Ivanova says.

“And in the modern world of advanced technologies, limitations or impairments can often be compensated for by additional means and/or skills." 

President of the Confederation of Employers of Ukraine Oleksii Miroshnychenko, one of the presenters in the course, said hiring more people with disabilities would also be a way to tackle Ukraine’s labour shortage.

"More than a million people with disabilities, in particular of the second and third groups,* are able to work effectively in Ukraine even without additional spending by business on their adaptation,” Miroshnychenko says.

“This potential can become key for business at a time when a significant number of employees are either abroad or have been forced to leave their workplace due to hostilities." 

The course pays special attention to the incentives from the state to create jobs for people with disabilities. There are various forms of support for business, such as subsidies, loans, targeted financial aid, and reductions in the amount of social security contributions companies have to pay. Moreover, in 2023, as a new type of support, the Ministry of Economy of Ukraine implemented a programme to reimburse businesses for the cost of setting up workplaces for people with disabilities.

Deputy Minister of Economy of Ukraine Tetiana Berezhna says businesses often decide not to hire people with disabilities because of such extra costs.

"That’s why the Ministry of Economy of Ukraine introduced this programme,” Berezhna says. “To receive the reimbursement, the employer must hire a person with a disability, purchase assistive products (wheelchairs, adaptive furniture, handrails, adaptive devices for computer systems, etc.), submit an application to the State Employment Service, and (they will then) receive reimbursement for arranging the workplace." 

Representatives of the Ministry of Economy of Ukraine, experts, including people with disabilities, as well as business representatives – including from JSC "Ukrzaliznytsia" and IT company MacPaw – took part in developing the course. It includes an overview of different types of disabilities to dispel prejudices, as well as providing guidelines on ethical communication and interaction with people with disabilities, and information on hiring such people. 

In particular, Iryna Fedorovych, a human rights activist and head of the advocacy department of the NGO "Fight for Right," talks in detail in the course about the rights of people with disabilities during the job placement process, and provides examples of job advertisements that are non-discriminatory and encourage people with disabilities to apply for jobs.

The course is free, and participants receive a certificate upon completion. You can register for the course by the link: https://startbusiness.com.ua/kursy/inklyuzyvnyj-biznes/ 


The online course was developed within the framework of the UNDP project "Supporting the Rehabilitation of People with Disabilities Caused by War," with financial support from the governments of the Republic of Korea and Germany.

Media enquiries: 

Yuliia Samus, UNDP Ukraine Head of Communications; e-mail: yuliia.samus@undp.org


* In Ukraine there are three categories (groups) of disability status – indicating the degree of permanent or continuing loss of working capacity and ability to take care of oneself. First group – people with severe disabilities, second group – moderate disabilities, and third – mild disability.