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Participation at the Dignity of Work, an international forum 05.03.21

Choosing to work and be supported in this choice is a fundamental human right for all people regardless of race, gender, disability. To live with dignity means that every person has the right to work without discrimination and is entitled to fair wages and equal pay.

The Dignity of Work, an online forum hosted by the Institute on Community Integration, University of Minnesota (USA) became a place for key international experts from diverse academic, government and non-government organizations, parents, employees and employers to discuss challenges and opportunities facing people with disabilities around the world. The forum highlighted global success stories, the families behind them, and the employers who have discovered the power of a diverse workforce.

Rená​ta Tichá​ & Brian Abery gathered key experts from the USA, Peru, Brazil, Tanzania, Japan, Vietnam, Russia, Czech Republic and Ukraine.

The presenters from Ukraine talked about action steps to be made in education, employment and policy. These areas are interconnected and each action has its ultimate effect in all.

Inclusive Education Lab basing in Ivano-Frankivsk college, Precarpathian national university that was created after the completion of Without borders: sustaining and supporting inclusive education learning community project. The Lab is expected to have the capacity to equip students, teachers and parents with an understanding of and ability to effectively implement IE practices. One of the areas of the Lab activities is transition of students with disabilities to independent living, further study and employment. The Lab provides pre-service and in-service teachers with the resources developed as the result of the project activities and welcomes people with disabilities to study and work in the college, participate in workshops and share experience.

Cooperation with School of Equal Opportunities, the NGO that promotes human rights and empowers youth, women and persons with disabilities on a grass-root and government levels.

The School’s project “Those who Inspire” connected us with Leonida Ponomaryova, a teacher and politician  with disability who strives to make systemic changes on a government policy level.

Efforts in transition to employement of Kharkiv’s Art for autism workshop, National University «Yuri Kondratyuk Poltava Polytechnic», Kalush special school were also presented.

The speakers and their presentations are as follows:

Olivia Hester Check-In/Check-Out: Performance Feedback During Vocational Training for Youth with Disabilities

Carly Gilson, David Blustein and James Sinclair Work as a Means to Thrive, Survive, and Feel Alive

Nicole Rabinowitz, Tasya Kelen, Jess Waller, organization employees Inclusive Employer and Employee Panel

Matthew Schuelka Visualizing Lived-Experience: Mapping and Geographical Tools to Better Understand and Analyze the Economic and Social Participation of Adults with Disabilities in Bhutan

Morgan Turner Morgan’s Musings: My successful journey to inclusive employment in higher education

Stephanie Fitzgerald, Pierre Young, former student Transition: What is it and what does it look like?

Alyssa Klein, Sheila Koenig, Heather Kosec, Crystal Underdahl and two high school students The Power of Youth Work Experience

Alli Strong-Martin and Ashley Oolman Towards Equity: Confronting Capitalist Notions of Value, for Radical Inclusion in Employment

Sam Graves and Ben Cantlon My Employment

Liliana Mayo Systems and Stories in Peru: Employers on hiring quality people with autism, talk about social and economic systems and share stories of life during COVID-19

Emanuelle Dutra Fernandes de Souza and Emily Klinger Building Inclusion through Leadership and Skills Training

Dickson J. Shekivuli Assessment of Afterschool Vocational Education Training Programmes for Children with Disabilities

Yuka Ichiki Promoting an inclusive work environment: Endeavor of Sega Sammy Holdings

Nguyen Viet Nhan, Iris Drower Community Building for Valuable Lives to be Lived

Yulia Lipes and ​​​​Nikolay Filippov Special Pottery and Special Artists

Anna Chistokhina Difficulties and prospects of organizing employment for people with mental disabilities

Jan Šiška and Šárka Káňová Disability, Employment and Citizenship in Europe

Sergiy Sydoriv and Leonida Ponomaryova Education, Employment, Policy: Three Stories of Inclusion in Ukraine

At the networking sessions participants discussed strategies employers use to hire and retain people with disabilities, preparation of youth with disabilities for employment, overcoming barriers when seeking competitive employment, empowerment of people with disabilities through employment.