#Ideathon helps people with disabilities in the job market

News date: September 20, 2019
#Ideathon helps people with disabilities in the job market

How can we help people with disabilities to find a job? How can we encourage employers to cooperate and create
a friendly workspace for diverse teams? These questions were addressed by the participants of the 2-day #Ideathon workshop session organised by 9 companies that together form an initiative called Human Explorers. #Ideathon was hosted for Fundacja Integracja that has been helping people with disabilities for the past 25 years, in many ways, including in navigating through the job market.


The studies show that there are 2.3 million people with disabilities in working age in Poland and only every third or fourth person is employed. The solutions worked out during #Ideathon, which takes place from 20 to 21 September in Warsaw, aim to help all employers in Poland in changing the situation.


#Ideathon is the first social project of this type in Poland and an innovative example of skills-based volunteering attended by Budimex employees and 8 other companies: DHL Parcel Polska, Dentsu Aegis Network Polska, Orange Polska, Alior, Grupa Żywiec, PwC, Leroy Merlin, and Polpharma. It is 100 people selected from the employees who stand out with creativity, talent and commitment. Together with experts from Integracja, which has been helping people with disabilities for 25 years, during intense workshops involving innovative methods, such as Ideathon and design thinking, they worked on specific solutions that can change the situation of people with disabilities in the job market in Poland. One of the leaders at the events was Paulina Malinowska-Kowalczyk, the spokeswoman for the Polish Paralympic Committee, the first Advisor on Disability to the President of Poland.


Based on the last national census, there are around 5 million people with disabilities in Poland; 2.3 million people are in working age, however the annual GUS BAEL research shows that merely every third or fourth person with disabilities is employed. This percentage has not changed in years. To compare, according to Eurostat, in all EU member states almost half of the people, are employed, making it nearly twice as many as in our country.

“The problems in Poland includes the fear and lack of awareness among employers and employees. I hope that thanks to the involvement of 9 renowned employers and solutions developed by their employees, we will be able to provide better support to people with disabilities. We are happy that the employers want to change the situation and work out a set of solutions for Fundacja Integracja that will encourage other employers to hire people with disabilities,” says Ewa Pawłowska, the chairwoman of Fundacja Integracja.


#Ideathon was inspired with the so-called hackathons, that are well-known in IT world. They are intense and creative working sessions during which out-of-the-box solutions and improvements are developed for which it is difficult to find time in regular work rhythm.

The event was made possible thanks to strategic partners, including DTMakers, Towarzystwo Inicjatyw Twórczych „ę”, Fundacja Atelier, Taka Banda Studio.

For more information on #Ideathon, please reach out to:
tomasz.przybyszewski@integracja.org and monika.okrasa@integracja.org from Fundacja Integracja



For the past 25 years, Fundacja Integracja has been working to provide equal social opportunities for people with disabilities, to shape civic awareness and achieve social integration. It has been issuing the “Integracja” magazine since 1994 and has been running the Niepelnosprawni.pl website since 2003 and Sprawniwpracy.com for six years. It created Integration Centres with an experienced team of career and social advisors. It runs many social campaigns, including “I Do Not Want to Be
a Firefighter”, “Little Imagination Leads to Disability”, ”Do You Really Want to Step in Our Shoes?, “Why Do You Treat Us Differently?”.