Creating online-courses to support disabled people’s professional development
- Career Hub Pro: Freelance
- Country of Implementation
- Start Year
- First published
“The course isn’t only about studying. It’s about opportunities that expand possibilities.” Andrii Atroshchenko, Head of Career Hub Pro: Freelance, CSR Ukraine
CSR Ukraine, a public organization conducting corporate social responsibility (CSR) projects, has set up Career Hub Pro: Freelance, a series of online training courses helping young persons with diverse disabilities to develop their career in copywriting, graphic design, or video editing and to become self-employed. Two training programmes were organized in spring and summer 2023, with 150+ young people trained inside Ukraine as well as Ukrainian refugees outside the country. Two thirds of the participants confirmed that they received paid contracts after attending the courses.
In Ukraine the unemployment rate for people with disabilities is estimated at close to 80 per cent, and the situation has worsened as a result of the ongoing war.
Solution, Innovation and Impact
Career Hub Pro: Freelance is a series of online courses that caters specifically to young individuals with disabilities, aiming to bridge the employment gap in Ukraine. The courses offer specialized training in three distinct areas: copywriting, graphic design, and video editing. Recognizing the diverse needs of its participants, the courses incorporate several inclusive measures. To ensure that the content is accessible to all, the course materials undergo adaptations such as sign language interpretation, subtitling, and modification of graphic materials. The design of the courses was supported by regional DPOs, for instance, with the Ukrainian Society of the Deaf. The online courses break geographical barriers, ensuring that they are accessible to participants from both urban and rural areas in the country, and also reaching out to Ukrainian refugees situated across borders. The courses’ structure include practical classes, workshops, and feedback sessions. During two iterations in 2023, more than 130 students actively participated, with up to 100 successfully completing the course. By the end of the course, 105 test tasks were accomplished, leading to 38 students receiving 35 offers for further collaboration from partners. Feedback from participants indicates that 67 per cent received remuneration for their work in the two months after completing the course.
Funding, Outlook and Transferability
The courses are funded by the US Agency for International Development through IREX, an international NGO, as part of the five-year UNITY programme to support Ukrainian youth. The general budget of one course edition for 75 students with disabilities is appx $14,000, including trainers and sign language interpreter services. CSR Ukraine aims to conduct at least two course iterations annually for the next two years, with objectives including increasing the number of successful freelancers, forging new partnerships, and collaborating with state educational institutions. (Awardee 2024)