Persons with disabilities, particularly women, face enormous attitudinal, physical and informational barriers to equal opportunities in the world of training and work. The biased socio-cultural, medical and religious lens provide fertile ground for them to be generally perceived as unproductive and unfit to access education and training and to compete in the labor market, thereby perpetuating the cycle of poverty and exclusion.
This project aims at developing a collective understanding of the stigma and discrimination patterns in the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institutions and among the employers, thereby laying grounds for action to fight such a widespread phenomenon. The TVET institutions and learning environments, as well as enterprises more inclusive, as both are important levers of emancipation. This will be accomplished by the development and testing of three tools in the four participating countries, with exchanges of experiences and lessons learnt. The tools include (i) a participatory Disability Audit tool that will assist TVET institutions and employers in tracking and documenting the shift in attitudes and perceptions, (ii) a Government Mechanism for Dialogue between TVET institutions and Employers’ organizations that should encourage collective commitment towards disability inclusion; and (iii)Practical and user-friendly Guidelines for Reasonable Accommodation in TVET institutions and employers’ organizations. Particular attention will be paid to shedding light on how the intersectional discrimination between disability, gender, and poverty influences the generation and perpetuation of stigma and discrimination.
The programme intends to contribute to ending harmful prejudice and stereotype of persons with disabilities as unproductive members of the society, by deconstructing stereotypes by means of evidence-based research, practical tools on reasonable accomodations, social inclusive dialogue, and piloting inclusive models in TVET institutions. The stereotypes that will need to be addressed include perceptions and beleiefs that it is too expensive to accommodate persons with disabilities in TVET programs / employment, other workers will be burdened with additional work if you hire someone with a disability, women with disabilities are worth less than men with disabilities or workers without disabilities, etc.