IHC Workability International Conference

By Phil O'Reilly, May 2016

IHC is delighted to announce Catalina Devandas Aguilar, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, as a keynote speaker at the IHC Workability International Make it Work Conference in September.

The Workability International Conference is held annually and this year it is being hosted in Auckland by IHC New Zealand.

Brent Wilton, Director of Global Workplace Rights at Coca-Cola, and Steve Shepherd, former head of Ranstad’s specialist disability recruitment team in Australia, have also been confirmed as keynote speakers.

Janine Stewart, General Manager of IHC Programmes says, “We are thrilled to have secured the attendance of such high-quality keynote speakers. They will add real value to the conversation and provide excellent insights from their varied backgrounds. We are looking forward to some provocative conversations about the future of employment for those with disabilities.”

“Catalina is a lawyer and human rights advocate who has worked extensively on disability issues at the national, regional and international level. As Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, she leads work calling for persons with disabilities to be guaranteed the full enjoyment of their human rights and freedoms without discrimination.”

The conference aims to highlight the clear economic and social benefits that arise when all citizens have the opportunity to be engaged in work. The conference will explore innovative ways to tackle the barriers to employment people with disabilities continue to face.

Brent Wilton has previously worked as Secretary-General of the International Organisation of Employers in Geneva, and has a clear view that disability should not be a barrier to employment. Steve Shepherd is a champion of diversity employment programmes. Steve will address the conference on recruitment that centres on skill and capability, rendering disability irrelevant at the interview table.

“We have also secured the support and attendance of Phil O’Reilly, former CEO of Business New Zealand and current chair of the Business and Industry Advisory Committee to the OECD and member of the Governing Body of the International Labour Organisation. Phil will also address the conference delegates,” says Janine Stewart.

IHC is currently calling for abstracts that reflect the three themes of the conference: Partnerships, Relationships, and Allies for Employment; Employment not Welfare; and Socially Responsible Business. More information about abstracts can be found at: