Influencing through information
Employers and decision-makers are not aware of the hidden work abilities of people receiving disability pension, such as persons with intellectual disabilities. This good practice focuses on increasing knowledge and influencing attitudes.
Implementation of the good practice
Influencing through information means direct communication of information to all those parties who can contribute to the employment of a person with intellectual disabilities. We therefore keep bringing up matters concerning persons with intellectual disabilities in different contexts. We have met decision-makers of joint municipal authorities and told them about employing persons with intellectual disabilities who are capable of working. Using examples, we have told the authorities about their work ability, the work tasks suitable for them and supported employment. In these situations, we have also told them about the financial significance of this matter to society, explaining what it means if, in the best-case scenario, a passive recipient of services becomes an active citizen who pays tax.
We have also told them about possible solutions. Employment of persons with intellectual disabilities can be improved by increasing the resources allocated to work coaching and by training work coaches. Furthermore, their employment can be improved by developing different, individual opportunities for them to gain work skills and demonstrate their competence.
In cooperation with service coordinators, we have discussed supported employment and offered our help for cooperation with employers. We have offered employees who are suitable for the work tasks to employers and as necessary, provided guidance and assistance in cooperation with the TE Office.
We have directed jobseekers with intellectual disabilities to use the services of the TE Office and the Social Insurance Institution (Kela) and provided guidance in using these services. As necessary, we have assisted them in finding suitable work and a workplace, in job interviews and in other practical arrangements.
We keep in contact with the family members and the people guiding the person with intellectual disabilities. In discussions with family members, we have talked about matters that they are concerned about. As necessary, we have supported the work community when an employee with intellectual disabilities has joined the work community.
We have tried to influence the public opinion through articles in newspapers and magazines, letters to the editor, brochures, training and a Facebook page.
Our advantage is that we can look at the activities of the decision-makers, service coordination, the activities of the TE Offices and Kela, and the field of employers as outsiders and talk about the employment of persons with intellectual disabilities as a neutral matter, without any links to the above-mentioned parties.
- Awareness of supported employment of persons with intellectual disabilities has increased
- We have highlighted matters concerning persons with intellectual disabilities from a neutral point of view because we do not represent family members, guidance staff, employees, decision-makers, employers, the TE Office or Kela. Or, we represent all of these parties.
How to take advantage of the good practice
Communication of information and influencing is important in all projects.
Tuomas Koskela, North Ostrobothnia Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment, tel. +358 295 038 506, tuomas.koskela(at)ely-keskus.fi
Further information on the project:
Structural Fund Information Service S20607
Priority axis 3. Employment and labour mobility
Specific objective 6.1 Promoting the employment of young people and those in a weak position in the job market