New Jobs for People with Disabilities
Ruslan Kurylko, 31, from the town of Boyarka near Kiyv has a disability due to birth injury. After closing his small construction business during the economic crisis, he tried to find a paid job. However, a stamp on his health certificate, which classified his skills as suitable for a security guard job, narrowed his avenues for many jobs that Ruslan is competent for.
In Ukraine, two-thirds of working age people with disabilities are unemployed. Discrimination and stigma surrounding persons with disabilities is a legacy of the former soviet system when persons with disabilities were segregated from the society. They often had limited access to employment and social services.
- More than 18 500 employers received information and consultations on employment of people with disabilities
- The job placement rate among people with disabilities in the pilot employment centres increased from 24 to 33 percent.
- Nearly 3,000 persons with disabilities were employed.
To address this problem, UNDP Ukraine in collaboration with the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the State Employment Centre has implemented the “Social Inclusion of People with Disabilities Through Access to Employment” project. In 2009 the project’s experts and a working group developed a new Model and a Methodology of Job Placement and Employment for People with Disabilities by State Employment Centres. The model uses a new approach to employing people with disabilities. The methodology specifies conditions to enhance employment opportunities for persons with disabilities, such as:
- For employers: describing workplaces that are suitable for persons with disabilities, providing information and encouragement;
- For job seekers: providing vocational training, vocational and labour rehabilitation and other support to help them prepare for work;
- For employment service providers: providing a Methodology for Provision of Services to People with Disabilities by Employment Centres, identifying staffing needs;
- For the system: specifying mechanisms of interaction between state services and non-government organisations, putting in place a monitoring and evaluation system.
In developing this model, the working group drew on representatives of many organizations such as the Ministry Social Policy, State Employment Service, Fund for Social Protection of Persons with Disabilities, All-Ukrainian Centre of Vocational Rehabilitation, Scientific Research Institute of Labour and Employment of the Population under the Ministry Social Policy of Ukraine, the State Employment Service Training Institute, the Ministry of Health of Ukraine, Federation of Employers of Ukraine, Federation of Trade Unions of Ukraine, and representatives of non-governmental organisations of people with disabilities, including the National Assembly of the People with Disabilities of Ukraine, All-Ukrainian Trade Union of Employable Persons with Disabilities, Association of Employable Persons with Disabilities, and Kyiv Organisation of Sightless Lawyers.
In addition to developing the model and the methodology, the project also developed amendments to existing regulations, as well as recommendations on harmonizing laws with international standards, best practices and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
In 2010-2011, the model and the methodology were tested in 90 employment centres in Ukraine. During this pilot phase, the project identified knowledge gaps among the staff and trained them in servicing clients with disabilities. It also prepared manuals for employers on how to organize workplaces for employment of people with disabilities and carried out promotion by highlighting the benefits from employing a person with a disability. During this period, more than 18 500 employers received information and consultations ; approximately 1000 partner’s organizations and 40000 representatives of employer companies tested the new Model, the job placement rate among people with disabilities in the pilot employment centres increased from 24 to 33 percent, as a result nearly 3,000 persons with disabilities were employed.
The Kyiv-Svyatoshin rajon (district) Employment Centre became one of the pilot centres which adopted the new approach. The representatives of the centre now perceive people with a disability differently. They matched Ruslan with a vacancy that better suited his skills, and now Ruslan has a job as an automotive parts sales manager.
Since 2012 the Methodology of Job Placement and Employment for People with Disabilities has been included to the Uniform Technology of Social Services Provision and is used in all employment centers in Ukraine.
Disability rights remain a priority for UNDP and therefore in the end of 2012 UNDP, jointly with UNICEF, WHO and ILO, launched a new two year Programme “Promoting Mainstream Policies and Services for People with Disabilities in Ukraine”. The Joint Programme aims to promote the application of accessibility and universal design standards for products, environments and processes as enablers of inclusion and participation of people with disabilities. It also seeks to address existing barriers that prevent or limit equal access for persons with disabilities to services and facilities intended for the general public. The Joint Programme facilitates implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
The Programme is being implemented on two levels- national and sub-national (Kharkiv region) and focuses on the three areas Healthcare, Employment and Social services.
It is funded by UN Partnership to Promote the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and co-financed by UNDP and UNICEF from core resources. The Joint Programme is implemented in cooperation with Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine
The UN Partnership to Promote the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNPRPD) is a unique partnership among the Participating UN Organizations, persons with disabilities and their representative organizations, governments and other partners that intend to work together through joint country programmes to promote the human rights of persons with disabilities in line with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).