Integration of disabled people into professional life
Short Description and Goal
This project focuses on an important and complex issue of integration of disabled people into professional life. There can be no full integration unless it also takes into account work opportunities for people with disabilities. This event provided disabled people from different countries of theEuropean Union with an opportunity to identify best practices and limitations they face concerning full professional integration.
- Within the context of a 20-year-long twinning agreement between Marvejols (FR) and Cockermouth (UK),a thematic workshop took place in 2004 in Marvejols between disabled people from the twinned towns and from Lousa (PT) and Galway (IE).
- The week-long event had two objectives: to have disabled people from different countries meet, work and participate in cultural activities together, and to organise a European meeting on the theme of social and professional inclusion for the disabled.
- Participants in the event realised that in all countries young people with disabilities have the same difficulties in integrating. They also highlighted the importance of sheltered workshops, such as Les Ateliers de la Colagne in Marvejols and West House in Cockermouth, which help prepare young disabled people for the professional world.
- The meeting gave each town an opportunity to analyse its strengths and overcome its weaknesses in the field of professional inclusion for disabled people.
- Disabled people from Marvejols (FR), Cockermouth (UK), Lousa (PT) and Galway (IE) spent a week together as part of a project for social and professional inclusion. During the week they participated in many activities: making wooden boxes, maintaining park-lands in Marvejols, cooking and serving their shared meals, staging a play and a percussion concert which was put on before an audience of 400.
- This European meeting on the theme of social and professional inclusion for the disabled allowed its participants to share experiences and listen to testimonies from educators, directors of sheltered workshops, regional representatives and disabled people. Three video projectors simultaneously relayed the speeches in three different languages.
- Through sharing their experiences, the towns reached the conclusion that despite legislation for the integration of the disabled, many firms would rather pay a fine than hire disabled people. This highlights the need for centres for the disabled to encourage visits from companies and to organise internships for the disabled.
Source: Town twinning projects on Social Inclusion
Innsbruck, AUSTRIA 10-12 May 2006
Brochure of best practices
Level / Project Complexity /
- Marvejols (FR)
- Cockermouth (UK)
- Lousa (PT)
- Galway (IE)
Sizes of Participating Cities
• 5.000 - 20.000
• 20.000 - 100.000
- United Kingdom