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Access to employment for people with intellectual disabilities
Start date: Sep 1, 2016, End date: Aug 31, 2018 PROJECT  FINISHED 

As set out in the introduction, although the Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities claims in its Article 27 “the right of persons with disabilities to work, on an equal basis with others; this includes the right to the opportunity to gain a living by work freely chosen or accepted in a labour market and work environment that is open, inclusive and accessible to persons with disabilities by enabling them, inter alia, to have effective access to general technical and vocational guidance programs, placement services and vocational and continuing training”, in France, as in other European countries, unemployment among disabled people is twice as high as in the general labour force. Amongst this category, the difficulties of persons with intellectual disabilities are even more acute. For them, gaining access to vocational training that can lead to a job is a challenge that the ACCESS Project intends to take up.Made up of 4 different partners from 3 countries (France, England and Portugal), this Project brings together research and training centers and associations directly working with people with intellectual disabilities.It is innovative in the sense that it brings together, in country committees, 4 stakeholders that are not generally used to working together: the young adults with intellectual disabilities, families, trainers and employers. The objective is to have them work in a collaborative and cooperative process, thus improving the empowerment and commitment of all the participants.The 5-day study visits will be organized in the 3 countries with the following objectives:- Permit trainers and employers to discover good practices put in place by training or vocational centers from another country, thus leading to the elaboration of the comparative chart (by INS HEA) and the final guidebook by all partners,- Allow the youths as learners to discover other training practices and learning methods, to meet their peers, to discover another language, culture,…. Especially for this category with very few opportunities to travel abroad;- Participate to the construction of a network of European training and vocational centers.- Enable the project manager and her assistant to draw up the comparative chart and the guidebook.The main tangible result will be the creation of a guidebook for good practices in terms of support and access to education and ongoing vocational training. The guidebook will be based on the comparative chart, the study visits and the different tools created. It will be translated in the 3 languages (French, English and Portuguese) and will also be adapted in Easy-to-Read language so that persons with intellectual disabilities can use it.Another possible intangible result may be a better cooperation and mutual understanding between the categories of persons involved in the project as regards their needs, expectations, difficulties, barriers,….. (youths, families, trainers and employers) and a better empowerment and commitment of the participants to the country committees and by extension to all their related and linked networks.ACCESS will have multiple impacts at different levels:1/ Direct impact for the members of the country committee and the participants of the study visits:- For the target group: trainers and employers: exchanging good practices and discovering other teaching and training methods. Using a training guidebook adapted to intellectual disabilities. Cooperating with the other parties and empowerment. Building a network;- For the ultimate beneficiaries: young people: Discovering other training methods. Meeting their peers in other European countries and discovering other cultures and languages. Cooperation, social participation and empowerment. Inclusion and access to employment.2/ Indirect impact for other persons outside those involved in the Project. -For the training centers which the young people attend, or in which the trainers work, or which participate to the study visits: They will benefit from the project in many ways: Meeting other professionals. Discovering other training methods and practices. Using the guidebook. -For the labor market: Hopefully, through the employers participating in the country committee, the project will have an impact on their views and will break down prejudices and assumptions surrounding intellectual disabilities.3/ Direct impact for the partners. Cooperation and networking. Improving research and methodology.This multiple impact will promote the construction of an inclusive society in which persons with intellectual disabilities are recognized as being capable of holding a position in society and particularly in the labor market.Access will thus contribute to improving the negative image which the persons with intellectual disabilities suffer from and will increase their chance to actively take part in society and become citizens with full rights.
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