Disability Inclusion Score Card (DISC)

Matthijs Nederveen
Matthijs Nederveen

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Matthijs: “Many vulnerable groups, especially people with a disability, are excluded from development programmes. We believe that development programmes will not become inclusive, if the organisations implementing them are not inclusive. The Disability Inclusion Score Card is a participatory self-assessment tool for organisations, which supports organisations in understanding what they are already doing right, and where they can still make improvements towards becoming more inclusive.”

Disability Inclusion Score Card - supporting organisations in celebrating what they are doing right, and where they can still become more inclusive.

Project description

What problem are you trying to solve?
Different marginalized groups, especially people with disabilities are excluded from most development initiatives and services provided by governments, NGOs and companies. The underlying problem is usually unawareness of management & staff of the problem and the possibilities for them to reduce barriers and promote inclusion and participation in their own organisation. You cannot have inclusive projects, if the organisation that is setting up the projects isn’t inclusive itself. There are no other comprehensive methodologies to define or measure inclusion, making it difficult for organisations to understand where they stand, and what next steps to take. Many existing tools are too vague (asking e.g. are you inclusive without defining what that would mean) or only focused on certain areas (e.g. only project management). We wanted a tool that supports organisations to see what they are already doing right/celebrate successes, and simultaneously shows where improvement could be made.

Describe your solution to this problem
The DISC is a self assessment tool for organisations. Staff & management come together in a facilitated meeting and reflect on the questions, scoring themselves on different organisational aspects on a level from 1 through 4. The questions have been developed to be specific enough so participants can clearly understand what inclusion means. During the session, the group is also asked to present proof (e.g. who have been hired, can you name them? where in the policy is that?) This makes results very tangible. On the one hand, this tool gives the team a score/indication of how well they are doing on different domains (finances/HR/governance) in their organisation. On the other hand, it fosters discussion and awareness on what this inclusion means in practise, and what needs to be changed. After the assessment, teams then agree on strengths and weakness, and define concrete action points for moving forward. This is repeated regularly to show change, progress and to redefine action points.

Why are you going to win the Spindle Award for Best Innovation?
Because there are no other comprehensive tools that cover all aspects of an organisation. The questions asked are specific enough that participants can visualize how to interpret this for their organisation – a vast difference from most inclusion tools which ask questions such as “is the management inclusive?” Asking for proof also helps participants think through the translation of the concepts into practice. The serious game shows we keep on innovating by stepping into the shows of the user.


Matthijs Nederveen
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