Improving the employability of young people with intellectual disabilities in Montevideo
Fundación Prointegra organizes courses and workshops to help 40 young people gain access to the working world
The goal of the foundation is to help 40 young people from 17 to 35 years old with intellectual disabilities find jobs. This is no easy task in a job market where companies are not fully informed about how people with disabilities can work, and are even less informed when it comes to intellectual disabilities. As a result of prejudices, there are many barriers to the employability of people with disabilities and therefore when they do access employment they are placed in undervalued job positions.
The young people that attend the Fundación Prointegra‘s “Supported Employment” project come from low to medium income families with little access to culture. These young people receive cognitive stimulation courses and trade workshops to help them improve their social and labor skills. A psychiatrist works with them on an individual basis to help them achieve emotional stability and in order to provide them with multiple strategies for coping with their emotions.
The students are backed up by trained job coaches who support them when they join the company. This support and follow-up within the company is crucial to ensuring they successfully join the company workforce.
The courses use innovative methodologies that enable them to strengthen learning areas within a classroom setting and to improve their reading, writing and mathematics skills with the appropriate tools.
When the young people start working they gain independence and personal development as they feel like valued and productive members of society. If the working experiences are successful, the environments in which they work also change substantially. Being employed helps them feel that they are capable and fully functioning members of society.