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Optimising strategies for integrating people with disabilities into work


Disability emerges from social, economic, cultural and medical processes within society. It is a dynamic interaction between health condition, personal factors e.g. age or gender and the environmente.g. laws, access to supports or attitudes, that impacts on capacity, activity levels and restrictsparticipation in society, economic activity and inclusion (WHO, 2001).The repercussions of dependency and unemployment as a result of disability for EU fiscal and social policy will place pressure on the Europea n Social Model in the longer term, not least due to a rise inage related acquired disabilities and health problems. More effective policies and strategies to assistpeople with disabilities to cross the threshold from economic inactivity to productive emp loyment,which target both employers and individuals, are required. Such measures must impact directly on thedecision of a person with a disability to seek, and keep a job and on individual employers to recruit andretain disabled employees. Utilising rece nt research and developments across a range of disciplines,Opti-Work aims to add value to EU and national employment policy and national systems to promotethe integration of people with disabilities into the labour market. It will develop a conceptualfra mework, consisting of a set of culturally relevant analytic tools, capable of throwing light upon thethreshold'decisions of job seekers with disabilities and potential employers in a national context andthe economic and social cost/benefits of crossing the threshold to employment for the State, employerand person with a disability. This will permit systems and initiatives to be benchmarked acrossjurisdictions in these terms. The perspectives of key stakeholders, active job seekers with disabilitiesand potential employers, and passive employers and inactive people with disabilities, will underpin thedevelopment process of this coordination action.#

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Participants (9)