A local medical technology company walked away with an O2 Ability Award in the “Retention and Wellbeing” category at a ceremony in Dublin recently.
The awards, now in their fourth year and created by disability organisation Kanchi, recognise organisations and business leaders which think and act differently about people with disabilities - seeing an employee’s strengths and abilities over any disability and recognising the economic potential of making their products and services available to all customers.
Thirty-eight organisations were shortlisted as Ability companies for this year’s awards which together employ 49,750 people in organisations spanning eight different sectors across 14 counties.
Entrant organisations to the O2 Ability Awards underwent a four month indepth assessment which examined all aspects of employment and customer service. The companies were judged by experts in the fields of business and corporate affairs, disability management, equality management and by people with disabilities themselves.
Caroline Casey, Kanchi founder and creator of the O2 Ability Awards, said when people are recognised for what they can offer or contribute they are valued and respected.
“In the current economic climate recognising ability in business is more important than ever. One of the advantages of being an Ability company is standing out from the competition, attracting new customers and being able to enhance employee and customer loyalty. Our Ability companies are examples of excellence that other businesses can learn from.
“We can and must continue to focus on achieving for all people with a disability an exciting future at work, packed with potential and facilitating the full development of their abilities. Organisations must see the importance of showing leadership and recognising ability and talent over disability. The purpose of the O2 Ability Awards is to provide an environment for continuous improvement and showcase excellence by organisations that champion change in the area of disability at work and in wider society.”
Former president Mary Robinson described the awards as an “innovative programme”.
“They engage in an imaginative way with organisations and leaders to promote the individual abilities of people who overcome significant challenges in their daily lives. It is particularly heartening that so many public and private enterprises continuously strive to recognise the abilities of people with disabilities and showcase the economic potential of developing accessible products and services for all.”
Danuta Gray, CEO, Telefónica O2 Ireland, said it was inspiring to see the “wide spread” of companies winning O2 Ability awards.
“These are the organisations and business leaders that truly think and act differently, raising awareness, promoting leadership and encouraging best practice.”
Medtronic is the global leader in medical technology alleviating pain, restoring health, and extending life for people with chronic conditions around the world. The company develops and manufactures a wide range of products and therapies with emphasis on providing a complete continuum of care to diagnose, prevent and monitor chronic conditions. Each year Medtronic therapies help more than seven million people.