Unemployment is one of the biggest problems facing people with disabilities, even in countries with some of the most progressive legislation. The Albergo Etico in Asti, Italy, is a hotel seeking to address the problem by employing people with disabilities, especially those with Down’s Syndrome, in a range of roles including waiters, receptionists, tour guides and sommeliers.
Employees work with the Albergo Etico for three years on a structured programme which teaches them not just the skills of the trade but also independent living skills.
The hotel also has special facilities for guests with disabilities, including tactile maps, accessible parking and accessible tours in the surrounding countryside.
The Albergo has received a number of awards, including “European Citizen of the Year” from the European Parliament, and is hoping to grow from 20 rooms to 100-room, and increase its 3-star rating to a 4- or 5-star rating.