Innovative Practice 2021 on Inclusive Employment and ICT

A work coach model for persons with intellectual disabilities

Sana for Special Individuals (Sana) is an Amman-based NGO supporting people with intellectual disabilities and their families. In 2015 it started the Sana Work Program, based on a Japanese model, to support the employment of young people with intellectual disabilities. The central element of the programme is continuous support once someone is employed, in addition to ongoing assessment, job-matching services, and employer support. In 2020 there were 150 participants, 80 have found employment.

“Rami got a job through Sana and his confidence and self-esteem have now changed for the better.”

Sumia Abu Jafarmother of Rami, a Sana Work Program participant
About the practice at a glance
Name of Innovative Practice:Sana Work Program
Organisation:Sana for Special Individuals (Sana)
Country
of Implementation
Jordan – Amman, Fuhais, Irbid, Jarash, Karak, Madaba, Salt, and Zarqa
Start Year2010
Sub-CategoryA project of Civil Society

FACTS & FIGURES

  • Sana has grown from employing one work coach in 2015 to five in 2020
  • In 2019, 47 participants found work, 11 of whom were women

PROBLEMS TARGETED

People with intellectual disabilities in Jordan do not have many opportunities to find work and have a stable income.

SOLUTION, INNOVATION, AND IMPACT

Sana’s Work Program has four stages: 1) Evaluation of a participant’s health, education, and support needs; 2) Negotiation with employers and evaluation of the proposed work environment; 3) Job-matching and reasonable adjustments; and 4) Intensive workplace training from a work coach until the new employee can work independently. The work coach accompanies the person until training is complete. This support is critical to engaging employers, as the work coach takes on the responsibility of training. Employers were originally identified through Sana’s existing partners, with more becoming involved as the programme has grown. There is no fee for employers, but they sign a memorandum of understanding with Sana outlining expectations and support.

In 2020, Sana employs five work coaches. Originally working with one hotel in Amman, Sana has expanded to other hotels and sectors in the city, including factories, security companies, schools, and advertising companies. Employees earn minimum wage or higher, although earnings may be lower during the initial training period.

A young woman places a folded napkin on a table in an empty restaurant with other tables set around her. She is looking at the camera and smiling.

Malak Al Khateeb, a Sana Work Program participant, enjoys her work in a restaurant.

FUNDING, OUTLOOK AND TRANSFERABILITY

In 2019 the Swedish Organization for Individual Relief granted Sana US$65,420 for two projects: the Work Program and its Family Support Circles Program.

The Work Program replicates a model originally developed in Japan and implemented in Jordan with the support of the Japan International Cooperation Agency, which arranged for a volunteer from Japan to join Sana as a work coach from 2018 to 2020.

By 2025, Sana aims to increase the of women and work coaches and to expand to other industries. The programme is transferable, and has already been expanded to other regions in Jordan.

FACTSHEET

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LINKS AND FURTHER READING