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How to become equal in labor market

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					Community based occupational therapy practice with deaf and hard of hearing young persons

How to become equal in labor market
Riga Stradins University Academic School of Occupational Therapy Students : Marta Trokša, Dita Rituma, Aiva Bauze, Agnese Uzkalna Ankara 2006

Identification and justification of an occupationally deprived group (1)
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There are 120 thousands disabled people in Latvia and only 10% of all are paid employed. 2-3 % of all disabled people are deaf and hard of hearing[1] Welfare ministry of Latvia considers that employers have to engage persons with disabilities not only in state subsidized employment framework but also out of it in order to facilitate integration in labour market of persons with disabilities in state over all[2] But there is no quota system for people with disabilities and no government incentives to encourage employment of people with disabilities [3]

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Identification and justification of an occupationally deprived group (2)
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People with disabilities are very loyal and reliable employees, which is a real plus in a good economy, when the person is out of dependence on federal support The work environment is unsuitable, so that youngsters can't take part of full value even if they have graduated professional or higher educational schools
Lack of information about the latest and highest technologies, services and facilities to acquire utilization of it. The insufficient knowledge about opportunities how to use high technologies is obstructive factor in participating into labor market

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Occupational needs (1)
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They have difficulties to realize workers role (productivity) in their lives and become full- fledged workers because of communication difficulties Deaf and hard of hearing youngsters are not active searchers for employment Employees with hearing disturbances feel more tired and isolated than employees in general, their mood and work efficiency is diminished 60 percent of them are looking for other jobs, because deaf and hard of hearing people feels badly treated in their present jobs

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Two out of three deaf and hard of hearing people have trouble in communicating with colleagues and managers in their workplace Restricted accessibility to assistive technology reduce communication opportunities for this group of persons
State tehcnical aids agency provides list of government paid tecnical aids, but this supply includes only hearing aids for deaf and hard of hearing persons[4]

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Occupational needs (2)
There are factors that create communication barriers that can limit their participation in the workplace Physical and environmental barriers:  noise  light level within a room  distance from a speaker Attitudinal barriers:  stereotyping  ignorance  focus on disability rather than abilities

Project development
Participants
1) Approximately 30 participants – members of NGO “Efraim's” will be involved in the course 2) Age 16 – 25 2) Different severity of audible disturbance level without cognitive problems Where: Local level Capital city of Latvia When: We have started this project in spring during studying “Public health” and continued while preparing assignments for IP course How long: Project proposal development: May 2006 – November 2006 Project realisation: December 2006 - May 2007 (It is connected with study program)

Purpose of project
To facilitate competitive capacity in labour market for deaf and hard of hearing
by providing information about assistive communication devices for target group and encourage to use them and providing information to
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occupational therapists, state technical aids agency, employers, and community overall

Preparation

Objective ACHIEVED (1):
1.

Ascertained and described the situation of employment of deaf and hard of hearing young people in Latvia:
a) Analyzed statistical data b) Assessed needs (semi structured interview with staff and participants of Latvia Deaf Alliance and her friend's organization participants of NGO Efraim)

Project is carried out in 4 steps

Objectives TO ACHIEVE (2):
1. To search for and analyze occupational therapy intervention to improve the situation 2. To gather information and develop a booklet about assistive communication devices
3. To inform target group during intensive course 4. To prepare questionnaire to ascertain the usefulness and efficiency of the booklet

Description of how these needs will be met by OT together with community OT strategies:
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One of occupational therapy competencies is to facilitate occupational performance. To enable occupation assistive technologies for physical environment can be introduced. A wide range of technology is available to assist people with instrumental aspects of occupational performance[5]. Behavioral aspect of attitudinal changes are possible through adaptation of environment. As this information will be placed in website of Latvian deaf alliance, virtual commune will be using and sharing it with others This project is community based, because it was developed in interaction with target group while they are experts in their needs. It is important for CBR to : 1. Ensure that people with disabilities are able to maximize their abilities to access regular services and opportunities and to become active contributors to the community and society at large 2. Activate communities to promote and protect the human rights of people with disabilities through changes within the community, for example, by removing barriers to participation[6]

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Activities
1. 2. 3. 4.

Collecting information about deprived group

Verify information (involved participants)
Selection of technical aids and assistive devices Preparing of booklet (involving partners)

5.
6. 7. 8. 9.

Verify booklet (involved participants)
Develop questionnaire Preparing seminar (together with participants) Management and organization of seminar Survey (evaluation of project)

Indicators of Change and Outcomes
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How many of deaf and hard of hearing persons will be included in labour market using information from booklet Will this information improve work conditions and give more career opportunities Will employer attitudes and knowledge change

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Will OT’s advise these technical assistive devices
Will center of technical aids widen their positive supply

Partnership (1)
Partners
NGO: “Efraims”

Resources
Active participants, Classrooms, Bureau Newspaper, Website

Benefits
Information, Knowledge, Skills Booklet, Information

NGO: Latvian Deaf Alliance

NGO: Latvian Professionals, Experts Occupational therapist association

Booklet, Information

Partnership (2)
Partners
Welfare ministry State agency: Centre of technical aids Welfare ministry State employment agency

Resources

Benefits

Positive list of technical Widening of list will aids be based on needs assessment Documents for subsidized work placements Opportunity to employ more persons with hearing disturbances

Health ministry: Riga Stradins University

Library, Computer room

Students acquire skills to work in community and to make projects

Boudget
Stationery 100 Ls - “Efraim”

Travel expenses
Spatial

4 students monthly ticket discount - RSU
RSU library, computerooms, bureau of “Efraim” for meetings  Latvian Deaf Alliance for 2 seminars


Human recourses

4 students from RSU are interested in elaborating bachelor thesis  each 300h  10 volunteers from “Efraim”, 20h


Organization of seminars

200-250 Ls - “Efraim”, Latvian Deaf Alliance

Dissemination
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Presentation of booklet in two seminars: one for target group (NGO “Efraims”), other for partners (NGO- Latvian Deaf Alliance, Latvian Occupational therapist association; State agency “Centre of technical aids”, State employment agency) Booklet will be placed in website and monthly newspaper of Latvia Deaf Alliance

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Elaboration of bachelor thesis

Conclusion
Each person should have access to the rights, recourses, goods, services, information and opportunities they need to participate fully in all aspects of life and to make a positive contribution to society[7]. Deaf and hard of hearing persons can get this access by using assistive technologies to prevent environmental barriers. Occupational therapists can facilitate their behavioral changes and social inclusion through adaptation of environment.

Refferences
1. 2.

www.lns.lv – Latvian Deaf alliance www.lm.gov.lv - Welfare ministry

3.

Rights of People with Intellectual Disabilities: Access to Education and Employment in Latvia 2005
“Tilts uz sapratni” Nr. 16, Research “Latvijas nedzirdīgie jaunieši. Statistika. Problēmpunkti..”

4.

5.

CBR A Strategy for Rehabilitation, Equalization of Opportunities, Poverty Reduction and Social Inclusion of People with Disabilities, Joint paper 2004,p.2-3
When people Cannot Participate: Occupational deprivation, Gail Whiteford, Chapter 10 European and National Policies on Social inclusion and prevention of exclusion, A Taste of Diversity, Hanneke van Bruggen

6.

7.

Thank You for your attention!


				
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