Project title: „Enhancing Disabled – people Greatness and their Employability“
According to the EU Disability Strategy 2010 – 2020, about 80 million people living in the EU have a mild to severe disability. About 47% of them are employed compared to 72% of people without disabilities. The obstacles they face, such as gaining access to training or employment, leave them vulnerable to social exclusion. Lower employment and education levels cause that the poverty rate for those with disabilities is 70% higher than the average. Among them, there are currently around 4 million people in the European Union who have Intelectual and relational Disabilities (ID). Their unemployment rate is more than twice as high as for the general population. Despite legislative reforms regarding employment and non-discrimination legislation, and despite financial incentives for employers, the employment rate of people with ID is still low in most of the EU countries. In Lithuania the employment situation for people with disabilities is 30%, worse than in Austria, UK, Portugal.
Project is aimed at ideating and testing innovative approaches to foster the employability of young people with intellectual and relational disability, creating the ground for their inclusion in the labour market and in the society.
Purpose: EDGE is aimed at improving the well-being and quality of life of young people with mental and relational disabilities.
- Creating innovative and ad hoc training methodologies for a successful job placement;
- Prompting companies to be more proactive about hiring people with mental challenges;
- Fostering entrepreneurial mindset, competencies and possibilities.
Consorzio Sir Solidarieta in rete (SIR), ITALY
INOVA CONSULTANCY LTD, UK
UNIVERSITY OF THESSALY – UTH, GREECE
Die Querdenker, Austria
Social Inovation Center (SIC), Lithuania
Melazeta srl, ITALY
On 5-6 of November, 2018, the kick-off meeting of EDGE project was held in Milan. The meeting was held in a wonderful country house where an organization engaged in the education and employment of people with disabilities has been operating. At the meeting, project partners were able to monitor the excellent example of integration of people with disabilities: in farmstead disabled people not only live, but also a lot of farm work is done by themselves. Participants of the meeting (Consorzio Sir Solidarieta in rete (SIR) (Italy)) and partners from England INOVA CONSULTANCY LTD, Greek UNIVERSITY OF THESSALY – UTH, Portugal FENACERCI, Austria Die Querdenker, Lithuanian Social Innovation Center (SIC) and Italian R.Q.SRL and Melazeta srl presented the activities and experiences of each of the organizations represented, promoting the integration process of the disabled and providing comprehensive assistance to social groups that lack social or work skills. After the presentation of the partners, the project’s objectives, expected results and project management plan were reviewed in general by the coordinating organisation (Consorzio Sir Solidarieta in rete (SIR) (Italy)). Each of the responsible organizations introduced the expected intellectual outputs. At the end of the first day of the meeting a quality plan for the implementation of the project was presented and discussed.
On the second day of the meeting the dissemination plan of the project activities and the role of each of the partner organizations in disseminating information about the activities being carried out were discussed. Also discussed were the calendar of project activities, the potential dates for meetings and the required reporting, the ways and means of internal communication. The meeting ended with a summary of the next upcoming steps.