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Swissport and UICI collaborate on inclusive employment project for visually impaired at Rome Fiumicino

The 'Flying beyond sight, destination inclusion' initiative, born from a partnership between the Italian Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (UICI) and Swissport, is set to debut at Rome Fiumicino Airport with the onset of the 2024 summer season. This project, aimed at fostering the professional integration of individuals with visual impairments in airport ground handling, was unveiled today in Rome, with the presence of the Italian Minister for the Disabled, Alessandra Locatelli.

A partnership between UICI and Swissport will debut at Rome Fiumicino Airport in summer 2024, promoting professional integration for visually impaired individuals in airport ground handling. The project was unveiled today in Rome with Alessandra Locatelli, the Italian Minister for the Disabled.

For the first time in Italy, visually impaired people will be working in passenger assistance at an airport. Following their training, they will be deployed at Rome Airport from July, where Swissport handles more than 50 percent of flights and provides ground handling services for 35 airlines, including ITA Airways.

The initiative involves an initial deployment of seasonal duration. The aim is to lay the foundations for a project to integrate visually impaired individuals that can be extended to Milan-Linate and other airports where Swissport operates in addition to Rome Fiumicino.

"I am proud that we are embarking on a common path of inclusion for people with visual impairments in airport professions. For having believed in the project and for contributing to its realization, I am infinitely grateful to UICI. Swissport promotes a working environment where people can develop their potential. We believe in equal opportunities and the value of diversity and inclusion, fostering creativity, and professional growth," says Marina Bottelli, Managing Director of Swissport Italia.

Mario Barbuto, National President of the Italian Federation of the Blind and Visually Impaired (UICI), states, “Today there are more than 30 million blind and visually impaired people in Europe and 1.5 million in Italy a large portion of which remain unemployed. However, with proper training, visual impairment does not preclude most employment opportunities. I thank Swissport for being a pioneer in this regard and I am confident that this collaboration will continue under the best conditions."

Swissport operates in Italy at Milan Linate and Rome Fiumicino airports and employs around 2,800 people. The company strongly believes that diversity within its workforce is a fundamental strength that underpins successful business operations. Swissport’s employees represent a rich tapestry of genders, ethnicities, religions, and other diverse backgrounds, all converging under the umbrella of a global company. As an “employer of choice”, Swissport aims to recruit committed employees with diverse backgrounds and qualifications. Impartiality and equal opportunities are cornerstones of Swissport’s recruiting strategy.

Video by Italian News Agency askanews