http://www.elearningeuropa.info/sites/default/files/imagecache/content_detail_picture/101013%20SUVOT%20HUEVO_definitivo.pngFor many people with mental illness and learning disabilities, working and gaining professional fulfilment is only a dream. Apart from the usual problems with finding a job, they face additional barriers: they often lack social skills necessary to work in a team. A methodology of experiential learning has been developed during the three years SUVOT project, co-funded by the European Commission, Life-long Learning Programme, Leonardo da Vinci subprogramme.  A one year vocational course in cooking has been designed taking into account the special needs of the trainees. Apart from cooking sessions planned twice a week, once a week participants attend simulation methodology training – role-playing and theatre exercises helping them to acquire personal and social skills needed at work.
For many people with disabilities working and gaining professional fulfilment is only a dream, as apart from the usual problems with finding a job, they face additional barriers: not only physical and technical, but most often social. People with mental and cognitive disabilities are most affected by prejudices and social stigma – surveys reveal a 3 to 5 times higher unemployment rate amongst individuals with mental illness although the majority of them are able and willing to work. “Nobody is to be discriminated because of his or her disability!” This is one of the central statements anchored in the European legislation and leads to many measures that try to ensure that handicapped people have the same options and choices as non-handicapped people. A big issue is the accessibility to any area of life. People with disabilities have special rights - starting from early intervention up to rehabilitation care at any age. Although there are clear guidelines, and the law is well-intentioned regarding handicapped people, the reality often looks different. People are refused for flimsy reasons and have trouble finding a job, despite their high qualifications. Many don´t even try to enter employment, but live on the support of the state, which isn´t satisfying. Yet, even if potential employers are open-minded, many people with mental or learning disabilities lack the necessary social skills to get and maintain a job, especially in today’s competitive market. Read more...