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TRAVORS2 and EPC LLL projects invite you on 7 September 2012 to the launch of the European Disability Employment Practitioner Certificate, which will take place in ANkara (Turkey). The qualification is open to practicing professionals with or without training.

The European Disability Employment Practitioner Certificate (in the UK the BTEC Professional Certificate – European Disability Employment Practitioner) or EPC, is for people who support individuals with disabilities to gain or stay in work. It is validated in the UK by Edexcel at level 4 (EQF level 5), the same level as an HNC. The qualification is provided by two specialist disabilityemployment companies, VRC and RNL, supported by a specialist education centre, TADCO, and an education and qualifications developer, SLD.
Employment Advisors and Managers who are already capable may take the qualification without prior training. For those who want to upgrade their skill and improve their results, there are several options for training tailored to their situation.
Teaching modes can include face to face teaching, online teaching, and distance mentoring all supported by in-work practice.

How to get the Qualification
Choosing Units: The EPC has six Units; a qualification consists of Unit 1 plus at least one other. Candidates choose Units according to their skills and the work they do.

The Units are:
1. Professional skills and ethics: compulsory common elements including essential
communication, counselling skills; basic law and ethics.
2. Engaging with client communities: outreach and community-based working; working
with organisations and specialist services
3. Enabling clients to obtain work: helping clients assess, set goals, plan and progress to
work, including job search, job preparation and return to work
4. Supporting clients in work: graduated return to work and helping clients and employers
to implement work adjustments
5. Supporting employers to employ disabled people: developing employment
opportunities and projects, and supporting employers to recruit disabled people
6. Case management: working with other professionals, receiving eligible clients, keeping
records and reviewing cases to improve future practice.

Assessment
Candidates for the EPC are assessed on their ability to apply skills and knowledge in a work situation. The main ways of doing this are to:
– Be observed by the assessor. Ideally this will be done by the assessor sitting in, but it can also be done by video link or recording
– Reports, recommendations, assessments etc. that you have produced.
– Written case-studies. They allow you to explain your decisions and reflect on how you have gone about your work
– Get another competent person – such as your manager, an employer, or in some instances an individual client – to write something describing your actions

The assessor will usually want to discuss the relevant work with you, to check your depth of understanding and your reasoning.

Getting the qualification
After registering your interest, we send you a Diagnostic Questionnaire to discuss with us and return with examples of your written work. This helps decide which Units you want to take, and whether you are ready for the assessment. At this point you would usually decide whether to go straight to the qualification or to do some training as well. When you Register for the Qualification, we send you a Students Manual, with everything you need to know, including assessment criteria, procedures and regulations. We advise you on what you will need to provide for the assessment. You then provide the assessment materials and we mark them against the criteria, providing feedback and opportunities for you to show your work in the best light. When you have completed, we will provide your Edexcel Certificate.
You will be enrolled with us for nine months which includes one opportunity for reassessment if you need it (your registration with Edexcel lasts for three years).

Current public tenders for the development of software, website services, kiosk and terminal interfaces, etc. demand that the developed tools and products are accessible to every citizen. In this context, the EC-funded ACCESSIBLE project launched a wide range of disability personas, which are potentially of great usage to developers of software tools. They allow developers and designers to better understand the target groups they develop for, namely people with disabilities or older people.

As read on CEDEFOP: The European Commission has just adopted a new strategy to break down barriers with a view to tackling inequalities and social exclusion. The overall aim of this Strategy is to empower people with disabilities so that they can enjoy their full rights, and benefit fully from participating in society and in the European economy, notably through the Single market. Achieving this and ensuring effective implementation of the UN Convention across the EU calls for consistency. This Strategy identifies actions at EU level to supplement national ones, and it determines the mechanisms needed to implement the UN Convention at EU level, including inside the EU institutions.
This Strategy focuses on eliminating barriers. The Commission has identified eight main areas for action: accessibility, Participation, Equality, Employment, Education and training, Social protection, Health, and External Action.
Download European Disability Strategy 2010-2020: COM (2010) 636.