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DISCIT has published a new working paper on Diversity and Change of the Employment Prospects of Persons with Disabilities. The paper is the first output of Work Package 5 of the DISCIT study which focuses on the employment prospects of disabled persons in nine European countries. Taking article 27 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) as its focus, WP5 asks whether “the right of persons with disabilities to work, on an equal basis with others” is being made a reality. Whilst the main data, derived from interviews with disabled persons and other stakeholders in nine European countries, will form the basis of later papers, the present paper provides crucial context by bringing together currently available figures on labour market participation with data on the regulatory and redistributive measures that have so far structured that participation. It thus represents the initial phase in an effort to study how the employment prospects of disabled persons have been influenced by policy contexts which the Convention now informs. The countries selected represent different European welfare and policy traditions, allowing for key differences and similarities in provision and outcome to be explored. They include: Ireland, the UK, and Switzerland (Liberal); Norway and Sweden (Nordic); Germany and Italy (Conservative); and the Czech Republic and Serbia (Post-communist). By gathering data on the employment rates of persons with disabilities in each country, alongside information on the provisions available to help persons with disabilities into or to maintain them in work, the paper raises questions about the diverse contexts in which access to work for persons with disabilities has, to date, been sought. The purpose then is to think of the extent to which “equal” participation in the labour market may be achieved in policy contexts which are already well established.

Zero Project Logo

The Zero Project researches the status of the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), this year with a focus on independent living and political participation.

Data on 150 countries were collected, together with 50 Innovative Practices and Policies that can be considered as worldwide role models in their fields. 

 Find the whole Zero Project Report online at The website also gives you the opportunity to research Social Indicators in all 150 countries on world maps, or to search the database for all the Innovative Practices and Policies that have been analysed and selected since 2013: Employment (2013), Accessibility (2014) and now Independent Living and Political Participation.

The Zero Project takes a network approach. In the last three years, more than 3,000 experts around the world have contributed with their knowledge and expertise.

The target of EURAVON (European System for Recognition And Validation Of Non-formal & Informal Youth Learning Deriving From Voluntary Civil Service) is to create a systematic tool for monitoring, recognition and certification of key transversal competencies acquired via non-formal and informal learning during voluntary service experiences which also enables the transfer of EU mobility in that sector.



Some outputs of this project:

  • A survey will take place to comprehend volunteers training needs and gaps in recognition and assessment of their competencies, individual needs of obtaining them, relevant methodologies and pedagogical approaches in terms of Youth Education etc.
  • The EURAVON tool will enable recognition, monitoring and validation of competencies acquired by the volunteers during the civil service.
  • Evaluation Planning will be producing a usability evaluation summary, where the primary goals of EURAVON (such as usability & accessibility of the tools, effectiveness of the EURAVON system, learning outcomes of the toolkit regarding the improvement of the key transversal competencies of the youth volunteers) will present the evaluation methods chosen suitable to assessing the achievement of these goals

The European Commission estimates that 80 million people in the EU have disabilities, and face a number of challenges that hamper their daily activities and hinder their social inclusion. To tackle some of these challenges, the European Commission prepared a proposal for a European Accessibility Act in 2013, which complements the existing EU legal framework in this field and support the creation of a market for accessible goods and services.

European Accessibility Act

People with learning difficulties or memory problems face barriers in the working environment because they need extra supervision and reminders. New environments, unfamiliar equipment and changing tasks can be especially challenging and may led to frustration, reluctance to use new technologies and dependency on others.

VirtuAssist logo

VirtuAssist logo

To mitigate these difficulties, ILUNION – Accesibility, Studies and Projects (a software technology and consultancy company belonging to the business corporation of ONCE Foundation) led the proof-of-concept VirtuAssist. It was sponsored by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) and InnovateUK. It was part of the ‘Good to Go’ competition of the Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) managed by Jisc TechDis, a leading UK advisory service on technologies for inclusion. This competition is about increasing independence in unfamiliar or challenging environments by giving people easy access to the information they need when they need it.

VirtuAssist aims to improve the quality of life and professional opportunities for people with disabilities (especially users with learning and / or memory problems), by improving their skills, confidence and independence in the workplace or training for employment when they are doing changing tasks or when they have to interact with complex or unfamiliar equipment.

M-CARE logo

M-CARE logo

M-CARE (Mobile Training for Home and Health Caregiver For People with Disabilities and Older People) is a project partially funded by the European Commission which aims to provide the training framework and (mobile) content for low-skilled people, nurses, etc. to become personal caregivers for people with disabilities and older people. The project will generate a dedicated PCG curriculum and relevant training material for different disabilities hosted on innovative ICT-based Web 2.0 mobile/online learning platforms (PC, smartphone and tablet). Partners come from Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Greece, and Turkey.