Innovative Practices 2013 on Employment

Integration of disabled persons in the labour market

The local and national campaigns (e.g. Sprawni w Pracy – Able at Work) run by the Friends of Integration Association have drawn Polish society’s attention to the situation of people with disabilities and their low level of employment.

About the practice at a glance
Name of Innovative Practice:Integration of disabled persons in the labour market
Organisation:Friends of Integration Association
of origin


Founded in 1995 on the initiative of Piotr Pawłowski, the Friends of Integration Association is a national non-governmental organisation in Poland, actively working for more than five million people with disabilities and their families.

The Integration Centres have provided support for:

  • 1,000 people who have found employment
  • 2,500 who have received specialist training
  • 14,000 who have obtained advice on individual issues


Up to several years ago, employers in the open labour market were afraid to hire the disabled and did not create jobs for them. Today, job offers addressed to this group are common in many sectors of the economy.

The association has also committed itself to the disabled with direct assistance in finding employment by operating five Integration Centres in Poland (in Warsaw, Gdynia, Katowice, Kraków and Zielona Góra). They serve primarily as job preparation centres for people with disabilities. Their staff provide information, training and assistance in finding appropriate jobs.

To prevent the problem of professional exclusion, the association is also cooperating with the business sector and provides it with audits of working areas to ensure there is disabled access, support in creating accessible websites and training on how to hire and work with disabled persons.

It is the biggest source of information for disabled people in the country. The combination of media, such as a magazine, a website and a TV programme is a strong channel to reinforce the mission of the association.

The efforts undertaken by the association are targeted at bringing about a transformation of the situation of disabled people in social and personal life, and to help enable them to lead normal lives. This includes those activities that are directly addressed to the disabled, encouraging them to be active in the job market, take part in vocational training, pursue their education and do all they can to become more self-reliant, independent, and happy. Moreover, the initiatives are also addressed to the broad groups of people living close to people with disabilities: families, employers, teachers, as well as ordinary citizens.


Poland (in Warsaw, Gdynia, Katowice, Kraków and Zielona Góra).


Piotr Pawłowski
The Friends of Integration Association
ul. Andersa 13, 00-162 Warszawa, Poland
Phone: +48 22 530 65 70

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