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Two employment-related publications of Aware Europe Foundation, Poland, are now available on the web, in Polish and English.
The authors of both Guidebooks include specialists from Poland and from other countries (United Kingdom and USA) working on joint projects with AWARE Europe.
Funding for developing, publishing and disseminating the Guidebooks was provided by the British Know How Fund, the United States Embassy in Warsaw and the Open Society Institute of the Soros Foundations in Budapest.
Both publications are available, free-of-charge, in print (in Polish only), on CD and on the Foundations website, http://aware-europe.idn.org.pl [new window].
For further information please contact:
AWARE Europe Foundation
ul. Cisowa 4, 05-806 Granica, Poland
tel./fax: +48 22 7582525
Website: http://aware-europe.idn.org.pl/eng/guidebook/x_gb.htm [new window]
AWARE Europe Foundation's first employment-related publication, also the first publication of its kind in Poland, released in May, 2000. A thousand copies of the Guidebook were distributed free-of-charge to facilities and/or individuals positioned to contribute to the improvement of placing persons with visual disabilities into the work force.
The publication speaks directly to those employers who are considering or planning to employ persons with visual disabilities, and also to those employers who have already hired such persons. The guidebook provides answers to a number of questions an employer might ask about employing a person with visual impairment person. Research has shown that inadequate knowledge constitutes a major roadblock in the hiring and promotion of persons with visual disabilities. The situation in Poland is presented in the context of experiences in other countries. The guidebook also provides an overview of the current legal regulations pertaining to the employment of persons with disabilities in Poland; reveals new job options; describes basic methods for adapting the work environment; and explains country's employment support programs of special interest to employers.
Website: http://aware-europe.idn.org.pl/eng/guidebook2/x_gb2.htm [new window]
This publication stemmed from findings and experiences gained during the project Strategies for Employing Women with Disabilities which consisted of four training workshops conducted for a total of 78 unemployed women with visual disabilities and was implemented in 1999 in cooperation with the Polish Association of the Blind and the Foundation 'Centre for the Advancement of Women'.
The publication aims to help prepare the reader for pursuing competitive employment. It provides very practical information - including sample resumes, letters of intent, interview questions, and motivational strategies for pursuing self-development abilities needed to compete in today's labour market. The publication stresses the vital importance of making a long-term commitment to personal development, continued education, and the need to continually update attitudes, skills and knowledge related to the rapidly changing labour market.
It begins with 6 case studies of women with visual impairments, who are at different stages in their lives. Some have just finished college education and are preparing to enter the labour market for the first time; one is actively looking for a job; and the remainder are successfully employed. The women have certain key characteristics in common: they believe it is possible to find a job, they are willing to develop their abilities, they are involved in a wide range of activities, they are not afraid to take chances, and they are open to exploring new opportunities.
The selected authors include: previous workshop presenters from the Centre for the Advancement of Women; a blind computer specialist who described adaptive equipment and their worksite applications. Another author, a staff member of the Polish Organization of Employers of Persons with Disabilities, highlighted legislative issues and the role of employment agencies for disabled people. Other chapters address general rehabilitation and adjustment techniques necessary for employment; processes for pursuing employment opportunities; pre-vocational and vocational rehabilitation opportunities available at different centres and schools (provided by the Polish Association of the Blind, other organisations for visually impaired, and by mainstream education); and self-help groups.
The Guidebook is addressed to women but its contents can be helpful to any person with a visual impairment, regardless of gender. The publication could also be used by sighted individuals seeking employment.
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