Can disability and work be compatible? During the final conference of the project “Be Able” it was proved that such question can not exist. Even though the unemployment of disabled people is a very actual problem in Latvia and Lithuania comparing with Western countries, during the project public organization “Union of Disabled Social Enterprises”, association “Balta maja” and society “Learning Projects” were able to raise the competitiveness of social enterprises. Therefore the number of employed people with disabilities was increased too.
Main activities which were implemented in order to help people with disabilities to integrate into the labour market and social life were:
- creation of the website www.galiudirbti.lt, www.varamdarit.lv with a database of CVs where employers can search for employees and vice versa;
- establishment of call centre which helped to promote the employment opportunities for persons with disabilities;
- preparation of feasibility study “Development of employment possibilities for people with disabilities” where the most suitable sectors for people with disabilities to work and other data are analysed.
As the result, the project shares with statistics that in both Latvian and Lithuanian portals there are registered almost 1500 people with disabilities who are looking for the job and 80 employers. Moreover, at the moment more than 50 people with disabilities found the job.
Nevertheless, in order to change stereotypical public attitude towards disabled people, increase employers' tolerance to employ people with disabilities and efficiently integrate them into the labour market, project partners issued a catalogue “Good practice examples of the work of disabled” in which the enterprises successfully employed people with disabilities are presented. At the same time a practical guide for organizations about procurement conditions and the possibilities to buy from social enterprises of disabled was prepared.
Participants of final project 'Be Able' conference
Presented feasibility study by project coordinator V. Dambrauskaite
Even though the project has ended, project coordinator Mrs. Daiva Paulauskiene at “Union of Disabled Social Enterprises” hopes to keep the cooperation with Latvian project partners and not to stop to increase public awareness on people with disabilities and integrate them into labour market through social enterprises. Project partners endorsed keep going to share the experience and represent the interests of disabled people by forming supportive and fair opinion of public and governmental institutions about the need to promote disabled social enterprises undertakings and successfully integrate them into the Latvian and Lithuanian economy.