Nominations Open for the ESCAP-Sasakawa Award for Disability-Inclusive Business in Asia and the Pacific

The Executive Director of APCD, Akiie Ninomiya, the Deputy Executive Secretary of ESCAP, Shun-ichi Murata and the President of The Nippon Foundation, Takeju Ogata launching the ESCAP-Sasakawa Award for Disability-Inclusive Business in Asia and the Pacific

Businesses that recognize the added value of diversity are now eligible for the pioneering ESCAP-Sasakawa Award for Disability-Inclusive Business in Asia and the Pacific. The Award, developed in partnership by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), the Nippon Foundation (TNF), and the Asia-Pacific Development Center on Disability (APCD), recognizes the leadership of companies that provide enabling working environments, deliver inclusive products and services, and are innovative in their disability-inclusive approach.

Today, there are 650 million persons living with disabilities in Asia and the Pacific – a market twice the size of the Eurozone. By catering to the needs of persons with disabilities, enterprises can expand their market share and tap into a new pool of potential customers, with sizeable purchasing power. As employees, persons with disabilities also have special expertise and tacit knowledge to help businesses reach a larger customer base. Disability-inclusive business is thus neither charity, nor an afterthought, but a core part of a successful business model.

In view of the crucial role of the private sector in promoting disability-inclusive societies, the ESCAP-Sasakawa Award was developed to:

Publicly recognize and reward businesses that demonstrate good practices in responding to the needs of persons with disabilities in their business operations;
Raise awareness regarding the opportunities available to the private sector for inclusion of persons with disabilities in businesses; and
Catalyse Asia-Pacific leadership in disability-inclusive business.

Nominations for the Award are open from 20 May to 19 August 2013. Companies may apply for the Award under one of three categories:

1. Disability-inclusive multinational enterprise;
2. Disability-inclusive national enterprise; and
3. Disability-inclusive entrepreneurial business.

All winners will receive ongoing public recognition for their excellence and innovation in the field of disability-inclusive business. The winner of the entrepreneurial business category will additionally receive a grant in the range of USD$50,000 to 100,000. The first Award will be conferred on 3 December 2013 in conjunction with the commemoration of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

For more information, please visit: http://www.di-business-award.com

or contact:

Ms. Francyne Harrigan Chief, Strategic Communications and Advocacy Section, ESCAP
T: (66) 2 288 1864 / M: (66) 81 835 8677