Employment in the open labour market for persons with Down syndrome
- Job Coaching Supported Employment programme
- Down Syndrome Association
- Country of Implementation
- Start Year
- First published
“I can memorize all the papers in a file in order, and I quickly realize whether there are any missing or not. Because of this, my colleagues call me ‘the detector’ – and I like it very much!” Mert Kiziltepe, programme beneficiary
The Down Syndrome Association is a charity organization dedicated to activities designed to change the public perception of persons with Down syndrome, and to creating an equal opportunity atmosphere for people with this disability. From 2014 to 2016, the Job Coaching Supported Employment programme provided employment opportunities for 30 persons with Down syndrome.
Societal prejudice and incomplete education force people with Down syndrome to stay at home or in institutions, leaving them without opportunities for inclusion in the open labour market.
Solution, Innovation and Impact
The programme offers persons with Down syndrome and their families a variety of training opportunities, including: · Consultation in setting career goals · Skills enhancement training · Support for job matching and seeking · Awareness and acceptance training Typical jobs tend to be in sales, but there are also waiters and servers, one human resources assistant, an accountant assistant, and a receptionist. The Down Syndrome Association is also publishing supportive educational books; and in cooperation with the Anadolu University Special Education Department, it has begun to give individuals additional training on job coaching.
Funding, Outlook and Transferability
The programme has a total annual cost of €56,000 and has obtained a Social Development Grant from the Sabanci Foundation for the years 2015 to 2017. Additional income sources stem from charity bazaars, corporate social responsibility projects, and the Down Syndrome Association’s online shop. Since 2012, the business model has been growing substantially and has encouraged a similar project from Yeditepe University in Turkey. Furthermore, the university has collaborated with the Down Syndrome Association to initiate its own pilot project on job coaching.