An off-site seminar “Forms of organization of labour activities for young people with disabilities. Supported employment” was carried out for specialists of Territorial Centres of Social Services to Population in the agrofarmstead “Budzma” on March 16-17, 2017. 25 persons from Dobrush, Korma, Zhlobin, Kalinkovichi, Rogachev, Bobruisk, Polotsk, Loev, Bragin, Rechitsa, Baranovichi, Vileyka, Gomel and Buda-Koshelev and representatives of Committees on labour, employment and social protection of the Minsk City Executive Committee participated in the seminar. Shestakov Yu., a candidate of pedagogics, an associate professor and a provost of Republican Institute for Vocational Education was a moderator of the activity.
A theme of supported employment is becoming more and more topical in different regions of Belarus thanks to realization of previous projects and dissemination of experience in Minsk and Brest regions. We can see that such a service can be successfully provided by Territorial Centres of Social Services to Population.
Eduard Shipitsin and Sergey Lapchik, supported employment specialists of NGO “BelAPDIiMI”, presented the experience of previous projects (“First steps to work” and “Your chance”) and answered the questions of specialists from social centres.
Sergey Lapchik told about different forms of labour activities for young people with disabilities using the example of work of the unitary enterprise “ArtIdea” (Minsk) and the workshop “Warm house” where young people with disabilities are employed. Sergey told about types of work and about organization of a working process. Eduard Shipitsin told about the process of employment, methods and approaches towards supported employment in different regions of Belarus, he demonstrated a structure of evaluation of needs and abilities of applicants, steps and algorithm of work with clients in the process of their employment.
The participants of the seminar got acquainted with the experience of Vileika social centre. The employees of the centre found jobs for 15 persons with disabilities in 2016. Svetlana Pavlova, a head of the day stay and assisted living department for persons with disabilities, told in detail about the experience of work with parents, about preliminary preparation of youngsters for labour activity, about problems specialists faced in the process of employment and the ways to solve them.
Natalia Semenyako, a head of the round-the-clock day stay department for children and young people with disabilities in Gomel social centre (Zheleznodorozhniy district of Gomel), told about ways of organization of labour activities in the social centre. For instance, the participants of the seminar got acquainted with the techniques of soap and candles making and ways of selling goods made in the day stay department.
2 models of work aimed at organization and implementation of supported employment for people with disabilities were defined based on the skills, knowledge and information received during the seminar.
2 models have following similarities:
— individual approach while finding out clients’ wishes, requests and needs in respect of employment;
— search for a job and preliminary work with an employer and a team;
— preparing clients for an interview;
— constant monitoring of the quality of work done by a client and an attitude of other people towards him.
2 models have following differences:
— the first model defined on the results of speeches of Lapchik S. and Shipitsin E.: individual preparation of a client for making work tasks (an algorithm of client’s actions is worked out and tested by an assistant); teaching a client to perform every single operation; trying out a route from home to work; providing support to a client at his working place during a certain period of time – up to 2 weeks;
— the second model defined on the results of a speech of Pavlova S.: purposeful work with a team, preparation of a “tutor” for a client and constant contacts with him and with an employer; a general scheme of conversation with an employer; a list of questions frequently asked by an employer.
Work in 3 groups was organized in order to sum up the results of the seminar and reflect on the knowledge received:
- What will I do in order to organize effective supported employment for people with disabilities when I return back home?;
- What Territorial Centres of Social Services to Population can do in order to organize effective supported employment for people with disabilities?;
- How can a regional committee on labour, employment and social protection help to organize effective supported employment for people with disabilities?
Every participant of the seminar got some ideas about the variety of forms of organization of labour activities for people with disabilities, told about the approaches in the field of employment which exist in their social centres, compared their experience with the experience of other participants, participated in development of models of work performed by specialists of social centres and NGOs in order to organize and implement supported employment for people with disabilities, communicated with colleagues and heads in informal atmosphere etc.