The BRIDGES – Broadening positive Reflections on the Issue of Disability, Generating Empowerment for Stakeholders is funded by the European Commission, through funds granted by the National Erasmus + Agency Education and Training Key Action 2 (KA2) – Cooperation for innovation and interchange of good practices (Strategic Partnerships for Adult Education) with reference number 2019-1-PT01-KA204-061388.
BRIDGES –Broadening positive Reflections on the Issue of Disability, Generating Empowerment for Stakeholders – supports, in a holistic and integrated approach and through really innovative products, the capacity building of factors concerning and dealing with disability in society; members with disabilities of society should enjoy the right of a full and decent life in proper conditions, ensuring dignity, self-reliance promotion and facilitation of their active participation in community and it is up to the family environment, training providers and professionals, along with society reflections and stakeholders – in general – to ensure that disability deserves equal opportunities and potential.
In EU the estimated number of people with disabilities is around 80,000,000 and these people experience barriers to their integration, specific need for assistance, difficult health status, functional and activity limitations, limited access to education and training, limited labor market choices, unsuccessful employment patterns, poverty and income inequalities, difficult financial and living conditions. Added to all these above is the fact that there is a lack of proper information and social awareness and its reflection towards disability and the integration of these people through specific actions and initiatives which will bring closer the society and its key-factors in their integration and life quality.
Thus, what research has shown us is that, beyond the positive reflections and the ‘disposal’ of exclusive practices or the discrimination these people face or experience, what is of high value for them is their access to the right of being employed or being given as much as possible employment opportunities; the lack of participation in the workplace can put people with disabilities at high risk of poverty and at low level of life quality, while on the contrary, facilitation of relative services or training of specific persons acting as the ‘bridges’ between the people with disabilities and the society & employers or the labor/market sector can lead to positive integration results.
In the context above, what is central is the implementation of efficient and effective actions towards the people with disabilities participation in society through the recruitment and reinforcement of specific supporters: these people will undertake the role of bridging with society, support them in job activation, mentoring in their employment and acting as suitable and appropriate channels. Thus, in BRIDGES project, the target groups will be civil servants and public services representatives, related professionals, NGOs & CSOs members, family environment members, who will be trained to support people with disabilities in the employment process and integration procedures.