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Final event of the Tutors' Bridges project

19 september 2019

The international project “Tutors’ Bridges”, implemented with the financial support from the Nordic Council of Ministers, completed its work with the final seminar “Accompanied Employment: Problems and Prospects” on September 13 in Petrozavodsk. Within the framework of the seminar, the project partners and its participants summed up the project results. Experts from Denmark, Estonia and Karelia presented three models of organizing the employment of people with disabilities.

Birte Hansen representing Copenhagen municipality told about flexible working hours for people with disabilities as one of the ways of social adaptation. Maria Pagels, an employee of a socially oriented company established by the Grenessminde charity foundation, shared the experience of accommodation, education and subsequent employment of young people with disabilities.

A similar experience of “protected work” was presented by the colleagues from Estonia, representatives of the New Bridge NGO.

Tatyana Makritskaya, Department of Labour and Employment of the Republic of Karelia, presented the experience of accompanied employment in Karelia and spoke about the prospects for its development.

Three models of accompanied employment in the different countries are connected by the obligatory figure of a tutor, assistant — a person who helps a disabled person in his work, most often in terms of psychological adaptation to the conditions of the work collective. And the practice of involving people in this tutorship in various governmental systems provides a wide opportunity to introduce effective principles of accompanied employment in various countries.

According to Maria Pagels, it is precisely for public organizations to provide relations between the state and business, there is the greatest potential for addressing the issues of socialization of people with disabilities and promoting tolerance in society in the field of social entrepreneurship.

The participants in the seminar and the panel discussion noted that “Tutors’ Bridges” is not just a beautiful name, it is a set of real mechanisms and tools that will allow people with disabilities, cognitive disorders, not to feel isolated from society, but to live and work in it.