Research Supports the Case for Inclusion
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Research Supports the Case for Inclusion

BOCCONI ENDORSES THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES

Bocconi University endorses the International Day of People with Disabilities, whose theme, in 2021, is “Fighting for rights in the post-COVID era.”
 
“As a university,” says Catherine De Vries, Bocconi Dean for Inclusion and Diversity, “for us inclusion is both a case of doing the right thing and of doing what sound research suggests is to be done. When obstacles to participation in the economy and the society are so high for people with disabilities, institutions and companies, on the one side, pick their people from a smaller pool, with a shameful waste of talent, and disabled people, on the other, are not allowed to achieve their full potential.”
 
“No EU directive exists on the standards to provide to disabled people in organizations,” Professor De Vries continues, “and in such a patchwork of regulations compliance is often elusive, at best, or eluded.”
 
A research project co-developed by Nicoletta Balbo, Assistant Professor at Bocconi Department of Social and Political Sciences, and financed by the Research Council of Norway, is investigating how living with a severely sick or disabled family member affects educational progression and achievements, employment, income, and mental and physical health of the other family members.
 
Preliminary analysis of data collected in Norway confirms that both parents and children who live with a sick or disabled family member experience disadvantages in working life, life course outcomes, schooling outcomes and mental health.
 
Mothers having at least one child with behavioral disorder or Down syndrome have an average labor income that is about 20% lower than the average income of comparable women. Mothers having a child with schizophrenia, bulimia/anorexia, autism, or behavioral disorders are more than twice as likely as the average mother to undergo treatment for mental illness.
 
The role of research is essential. “To develop effective welfare policies, it is essential for policymakers to understand the forces and barriers that can lead to the disruption of school careers and exclusion from the labor market,” Professor Balbo says.
 
Bocconi is a member of CALD (Coordinamento degli Atenei Lombardi per la Disabilità e i Disturbi Specifici dell’Apprendimento - Coordination of the Lombard Universities for Disability and Specific Learning Disorders). The group has been active for ten years and is celebrating the International Day of People with Disabilities with an event at Università degli Studi di Milano Bicocca, where the use of innovative forms of inclusive teaching are being discussed.
 
Bocconi University is committed and will be increasingly so in the future, to pursuing its main research and training objectives in an environment (physical and intellectual) in which everyone receives and offers others equal opportunities, dignity and treatment. That is why it is investing increasing resources so that all talented and deserving students can enroll in and attend its programs.
Over the years a detailed system of funding opportunities, financial aid and services has been developed for every kind of student.
 
In pursuance of inclusion, personalized support and services are available to people with temporary or permanent disabilities, to ensure their participation in academic activities and full integration into university life. These include guidance and recruitment activities, the admissions test, enrollment, classes, study plans and exams, up to entry into the world of work.
 

by Fabio Todesco
Bocconi Knowledge newsletter

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