BBVA Cantabria has taken a major step toward integration of people with disabilities by signing a collaboration agreement with the local Down Syndrome Foundation. This is one of BBVA’s initiatives aimed at promoting the inclusion and integration of people with disabilities.
Under this agreement, members of this charity will be able to complete work placements at BBVA, which will contribute to their integration into the job market. The following BBVA and Foundation representatives were present at the signing: José Luis Alciturri, manager of BBVA Cantabria; José Luis Bilbao, head of volunteering at BBVA North Territorial Area; María Victoria Troncoso, chairman of the Down Syndrome Foundation; Elisa Iruteta, its vice chairwoman; and Sara Bedia, the organization’s head of preparation for the workplace.
This is not the first time that BBVA undertakes this kind of initiative. Programs involving people with disabilities are already in place in other Spanish autonomous communities, and BBVA is planning to expand this network.
Ambassadors for people with disabilities
In line with this effort to integrate and include people with disabilities in society, BBVA has carried out other initiatives. For instance, in 2011, BBVA created the embassy of disability –’Embajada de la Discapacidad’– within the Ruta BBVA, in collaboration with CERMI and Fundación ONCE. This initiative aims to strengthen our contribution to respect for human rights, and the inclusion and development of people with disabilities in society.
This action allows up to two young people with disabilities (after a pre-selection process) to take part in the trip and fully enjoy a journey rich in adventure and learning.
To date, five young people have been “ambassadors for people with disabilities” during the Ruta BBVA. The latest ambassadors were David Chiarri, a hearing-impaired young man from Barcelona, and Adrián Rincón, a visually impaired student from Salamanca. Together with these two young men, all Ruta participants were involved in activities that gave them a closer look at the world of disabilities. During the last Ruta, Andrés Ciudad, assistant manager of Ruta BBVA, stressed how important it was to “create an increasingly more inclusive and universal Ruta”, and reaffirmed that the program was committed to young people with disabilities. “This type of trip helps them to overcome obstacles, and to become aware of the problems faced by people with disabilities on a daily basis.”