Chapter 7: Vocational training and employment

Contents

  1. The employment problem for Visually impaired People in Belarus
    Valery Ananyev, Belarus
  2. Psychological aspect of vocational rehabilitation
    Anna Chevtsova, Russia
  3. Will the new employment opportunities become a reality in the next millennium?
    Geoff Jackman, UK
  4. The educational resource centres: a response to the educational needs of blind and visually impaired students in the 21st century
    Fátima Sánchez Moreno, Spain
  5. Integrating the blind and the visually impaired at work
    Manuel Oliver Breto, Spain (presented by Felipe Torrecilla Delgado, Spain)
  6. Professional orientation and social integration of children with severe visual impairment
    Nina Petrovna Shalgan, Russia
  7. Between the Oak-Tree and the Reed: Chances for a Third Way
    Beate Ströhlein, Germany
  8. Our experience in the field of equipping effective special working places
    Sergej Vanchine, Russia
  9. Job orientation of visually handicapped students in the transitional period to market economy
    Elka Velikova, Bulgaria
  10. Vocational training in the next decennium
    Teijo Venema and Arrie Huijgen, the Netherlands

lecture
7.1

The employment problem for Visually impaired People in Belarus

full text of lecture 7.1

Valery Ananyev, Belarus

Address:
Belarussian State University
Ul. Slavinskogo, home 33, apt. 71, Minsk 220086, Belarus
Fax: +375 17 263 76 75
E-mail: ofis@invo.belpak.minsk.by

The half of visually impaired people in Belarus is of working age. Nowadays the biggest problem for them is employment. According to sociologic research made by "Arter disabled people" are a group social active persons in society. On conditions existing in Belarus the loss of a job reduces not only profits but limits the social communication among disabled people. The separation of the disabled from the society is the main reason for problems appearing particularly in employment. The majority of the visually impaired (3000 persons) works in the structure of the Association of the Visually Impaired. About 500 young persons work in government and non-government institutions in Belarus. The main ways of the solution of employment of the disabled are the following:

  1. Extending the knowledge about disabled people's lives in order to improve the attitude towards them.
  2. The working out of the list of professions adopted for the disabled.
  3. Computer technology for the disabled.
  4. The organisation of the special system for the independent work in library and lnternet.
  5. Effective help to plants organising the working places for the disabled.


lecture
7.2

Psychological aspect of vocational rehabilitation


Anna Chevtsova, Russia

Address:
main Center of Computer Technologies of the All-Russian Society of the Blind
Protopopovsky per 9., Moscow 129010, Russia
Fax: +7 095 280 98 50
E-mail: zvezda@glasnet.ru

Since 1996 I have worked at the Main Center of computer technologies of the All-Russian Society for the blind as the assistant of the director on social work. The basic sphere of activity of our Center is social - professional rehabilitation of visually impaired people, creation of the special computer aided workplaces for the blind and visually impaired persons. The range of my duties includes involving of the visually impaired people in work by using computer, searching and examination of possible workplaces for disabled people, contacts and negotiations with possible employers. In our work we try to regulate of mutual relation of the employers and visually impaired persons, protecting the rights of disabled person. Certainly, the large number of the unemployed persons among visually impaired people is caused not only political and economic difficulties in our country and low effectiveness of the specialised enterprises for the blind and visually impaired. I think, there is another problem - I mean some negative psychological installations which in fact block the employment of visually impaired people and effective adaptation in "normal" collectives.

I consider that one of the most important factors in a way to successful professional rehabilitation of visually impaired people the correct psychological approach to everyone disabled person. Probably, one of the main obstacles in a way to successful effective employment, is a distorted idea " of the healthy people " - both potential employers and experts of rehabilitation invalids as about " the special people, " attributing by them of negative features, numerous "barriers" at dialogue, disbelief in professional opportunities of disabled people. (This fact is especially concerns blind persons and blind-deaf persons). It is well-known that the majority of the employers doesn't want to accept on work the disabled people.

Therefore both consultations, professional orientation and psychological help to the invalids of heavy categories and consultation of the employers, explanation them of opportunities of the workers - disabled persons are of special importance. So the basic task of my work is creation of a maximum quantity effective adaptation special workplaces for visually impaired people, and, hence, successful disabled people to modern conditions.

No full text available in English


lecture
7.3

Will the new employment opportunities become a reality in the next millennium?

full text of lecture 7.3

Geoff Jackman, UK

Address:
RNIB Vocational College
Radmoor Road, Loughborough, Leicestershire, LE11 3GS UK
Fax: +44 1509 232013
E-mail: gjackman@rnib.org.uk

Securing employment for blind and partially sighted people continues to present a challenge. This paper looks at the implications of the rapid change in the employment field, in part due to the revolution in Information and Communication Technology. This has provided an opportunity for new areas of employment for blind and partially sighted people. In turn this has meant a challenge to designers of specialist enabling technologies to keep pace with the ever-developing software.

RNIB Vocational College works in partnership with a mainstream further education college with whom it shares a campus. The demise of the traditional telephony and shorthand typing jobs has required innovation. The college has responded by providing student-centred individualised programmes. "Hybrid" programmes are also being developed drawing on the curriculum of both colleges. Students now have the opportunity to seek employment in the field of - Leisure Management, Caring Professions, and Information Technology. Customer Care and Telemarketing are potential opportunities.

Despite students' greater range of qualifications, blind and partially sighted people still experience massive prejudice and social exclusion. Gaining employment still proves to be a hard won battle. In the next millennium will employers recognise blind and partially sighted employees' abilities and avoid under-employment and demeaning work?


lecture
7.4

The educational resource centres: a response to the educational needs of blind and visually impaired students in the 21st century

full text of lecture 7.4

Fátima Sánchez Moreno, Spain

Address:
O.N.C.E.
Calle Prado 24, Madrid 28014, Spain
Fax: 91 429 31 18

The author outlines the history of the Educational Resource Centres (Centros de Recursos Educativos - CRE's) in Spain since they were first founded. She also describes the initial difficulties encountered in setting them up due to their differences with traditional educational centres for the blind and visually impaired.

A complete exposition of the modules and services offered by the CRE's is made. Likewise, the way these centres operate is also explained. Education is made to reach blind and visually impaired students wherever they may be.

Lastly, the author proposes the CRE's as a viable alternative for the education of the blind and visually impaired in the future. This is so as they are the only structure capable of covering each of the different facets affecting the life of blind and visually impaired students. Such facets include the family, school and society as a whole.


lecture
7.5

Integrating the blind and the visually impaired at work

full text of lecture 7.5

Manuel Oliver Breto, Spain (presented by Felipe Torrecilla Delgado, Spain)

Address:
O.N.C.E.
Calle Carrera de San Jeronimo 28, 28014 Madrid, Spain

Introduction:

The main goal of the O.N.C.E. is to integrate its blind and visually impaired members into society in the same conditions as other citizens. The organisation dedicates all its efforts, economic means and human resources to this end. There are many factors which make integration a reality, but perhaps the most important is work.

Objective:

Making the O.N.C.E.'s training and employment policies widely known in order to allow the blind and visually impaired to enter the job market.

Results:

Promoting employment solutions to both the state and private sectors has resulted in 15,000 blind or visually impaired people finding jobs (more than 1,000 in the ordinary job market outside the organisation). This has been achieved by proposing employment incentives, doing research on the adaptation of work tools and promoting professional or training practices.

Conclusions:

There is a great degree of flexibility and precariousness in the labour market in the current economic and business climate. This situation affects all workers, but can have more serious consequences for the blind or visually impaired. The hiring of the blind or visually impaired is thus not the end of the employment promotion cycle. The factors which affect the work post created must be closely followed up as well as those who have found jobs.


lecture
7.6

Professional orientation and social integration of children with severe visual impairment


Nina Petrovna Shalgan, Russia

Address:
School for visually impaired children
V-pyshma, Sverdlovskaya oblast, M. Sybiryak street 5, 624080 Russia
Fax: +7 34368 34424

Having analysed the experience that our school gained during 50 years of its work, the pedagogical staff came to the conclusion that it is necessary to create a new model of a specialised adjustment institution - a unity of Pre-school - School - College - University (hereinafter referred to as "Unity"). The aim of this union is to provide opportunities for professional training and education of children with severe visual impairment. Our school has taken the organisational function of the whole union. This means that the school has developed several directions in its everyday work: administrative, educational, psychological, professional, aesthetic and medical. The school is also responsible for concluding agreements with the other participants of Unity with the aim to clearly specify the functions of each member and to guarantee the continuity of the adjustment work with each student of the school. The most important is the professional orientation. The aim of this trend is to provide the elementary professional training for the students of high school and to give the pupils of the secondary school the possibility to learn about several occupations which the school can offer for their choice. At present we have two types of specialised training: a course of massage (developed in 1972) and humanitarian profile. This year we signed an agreement with the local Medical College that provides special training for our students of the 11th and 12th grades. If our students successfully pass the exams after these two years of training they become the second-year students of the College. After graduating from the humanitarian profile our students receive the Certificate of Assistant Social Worker. If they successfully pass graduation exams they become the first year students of the Social Department of the Urals' State Pedagogical University. Here they obtain the Diploma of Social Worker or Social Educator. Additionally they may study Romano-Germanic philology, sociology, economy, law, psychology and professional education. We also provide individual training for our children by teaching them twig weaving, decorative carving, knitting and footwear repairing. Opening a new speciality for the children with severe visual impairment is the know-how of our school.

No full text available in English


lecture
7.7

Between the Oak-Tree and the Reed: Chances for a Third Way


Beate Ströhlein, Germany

Address:
BFW Veißhöchheim (Vocat. Rehab. Centre)
Helen Keller Str. 5, D-97209 Veißhöchheim, Germany
Fax: +49 931 9001105
E-mail: beastro@t-online.de

Globalisation shows its impact on the working conditions of most of the visually impaired. Whereas the starting area for this influence may be different in eastern and western societies, the result is the same: less and less blind people can rely on their working place to be assured for them on the long run.

We are told that the keyword to solve this problem, as well in the East as in the West, is FLEXIBILITY. But what does it mean?

Listening to the fables of our childhood, didn´t we always admire the proud oak-tree, that could be broken, but never bent - and was there not always a feeling of disgust for the reed, that in order to survive was bending to whatever wind to blow?

The paper to be presented draws the semantic as well as the social outlines to the notion of flexibility and tries to present an answer to the question whether for the blind, there can be found a third way towards the future, a way between the oak and the reed.

No full text available in English


lecture
7.8

Our experience in the field of equipping effective special working places

full text of lecture 7.8

Sergej Vanchine, Russia

Address:
Main Centre of Computer Technologies of the All-Russian Society for the Blind
Protopopovsky per 9., Moscow 129010, Russia
Fax: +7 095 280 98 50
E-mail: zvezda@glasnet.ru

The main task of our Center of Computer Technologies of the All-Russian Society of the Blind is the working rehabilitation of visually impaired people by means of their placement in organisations and enterprises, which are not intended for the blind and in such a way to help them to integrate in sighted collectives. To our mind the best way of the working rehabilitation is the rehabilitation with the help of computer, because it is possible and effective to adjust a computer for using it by a blind specialist for coping with professional tasks. There are a lot of problems by creating special working places and adaptation of software, which are connected with the choice of special technologies, which enable the blind to work. For some visually impaired , who have remained sight, it is possible to make use of enlarging ( magnifying ) programs, which magnifies the information at the display many- times. At the same time the totally blind or whose remained sight doesn't enable them to work with a monitor have to use different tactile and sound displays.

At present at most enterprises they are using different versions of Windows 95-98, which present information in graphic form, it makes the adaptation of a software for the blind very difficult. The main problem is to create not an experiment workplace but an effective one, which will work under changing conditions. Using our method we have managed to create more than 40 special working places for the visually impaired of the 1st and the 2nd category.


lecture
7.9

Job orientation of visually handicapped students in the transitional period to market economy


Elka Velikova, Bulgaria

Address:
Varna School for the Blind
M. Vilite Kv. Asparvhovo, Varna, 9003 Bulgaria
Fax: +359 52 774270

One of the crucial tasks of the special school is to prepare its students for an independent life and job realisation. There are some traditional difficulties in taking a decision of a job by the visually handicapped such as:

  • the limits of the visual impairment itself.
  • the difficulties in society to accept the visually handicapped as equal in the field of job realisation.
  • In the transitional period of moving towards market economy the special workshops for visually handicapped are nearly broke. That is why our efforts are towards enlarging the choice of possible jobs mostly in the areas of self-employment, some intellectual professions etc.
    The job orientation in the special schools is done either during the school activities or the out-school activities. It is done by a lot of professionals - classroom teachers, psychologists, teachers in handicrafts etc. Job orientation puts the focus on the following activities:

  • stimulation of the individual interests and abilities;
  • through different methods giving knowledge about appropriate jobs
  • studying the individual features and giving advice and consultation
  • information on the economic situation in Bulgaria and the requirements of the market economy.
  • preparation for a job interview.
  • No full text available in English


    lecture and poster
    7.10

    Vocational training in the next decennium

    full text of lecture 7.10

    Teijo Venema and Arrie Huijgen, the Netherlands

    Address:
    Sonneheerdt
    P.O.Box 14, 3850 AA Ermelo, the Netherlands
    Fax: 0341-498510
    E-mail: tvenema@sonneheerdt.nl

    As we all know, it is usually difficult for visually impaired people living in economically poor countries to secure a paid job (occupation).
    In the past, even here in The Netherlands the situation was no doubt similar. For more than
    25 years, Sonneheerdt has been engaged in finding appropriate jobs for fellow nationals belonging to its target group. Thanks to this kind of approach, many of them have been able to be integrated in the labour force.
    What is feasible in The Netherlands can also be adapted by others, only if the basic requirements are met. That is why Sonneheerdt is endeavouring to transfer the necessary know-how to the less fortunate. Let me illustrate by demonstrating the poster. See the pictures of visually impaired people in economically poorer countries where they have limited prospects to earn their living. In order to obtain an equitable chance, one has to have convincing skills to demonstrate to his abled colleagues.

    Of course, a vocational training is an imperative means whereby the desired goal can be achieved. Therefore, Sonneheerdt is willing to share its experience in vocational training as well as job mediation with sister organisations beyond its border. An example of a co-operation project in this field is the twinning project in Luthuania where a training programme for furniture reparing (upholstery) was launched in September 2000. The project goal was formulated as follows: to implement a new profession in upholstery for blind and partially sighted people; to combat exclusion of blind people from the labour market by offering a chance through education; investment in training on equal basis.


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