Following the European Disability Strategy 2010-2020, organisations from 6 different countries engaged in the Transfer of Employment Support Tools for People with Disabilities (T-EST) project, under the auspices of the Leonardo Da Vinci transfer of Innovation program. This project started in November 2012 and will run until October 2014 with a mission to contribute to the full accessibility to education as well as to the labour market for people with disabilities.
The project builds on the concept of Supported Employment, a method of working with disabled people and other disadvantaged groups to provide access and maintain paid employment in the open labour market. The European Supported Employment Toolkit consists of a range of Position Papers and ‘How To’ guides and has been designed by the European Union to improve the knowledge and skills of professionals working in the field of Supported Employment services. T-EST purpose is to transfer this concept to Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey. A roadmap was quickly laid down to set up the practical steps required. The first order of business was to adapt and revise the European Supported Employment Toolkit to the specific needs of the target countries. A training programme was then set up for local trainers to assist in the implementation process. All along the project, raising awareness campaigns took place in the partner countries through meetings and political roundtables (in Austria in 2012 and in Romania in 2013) and the exchange of best practices, experiences and mutual learning among the organisations.
This project will bring a clear quality improvement of the accessibility to the labour market for people with disabilities through vocational education, training on the job and Supported Employment tools. T-EST contains a clear European wide added value, as the conclusion of the project will be adaptable to other countries. However, the most important outcome of the project will certainly be the trickle-down effect in Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey, where the service providers will spread the Supported Employment concept at the regional and local level.
For more information http://www.t-est.eu/index.php/en/ or contact Sonia.Staskowiak(at)easpd.eu.