Article 27 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), ratified by Croatia in 2007, says that States Parties “recognize the right of persons with disabilities to work on an equal basis with others”. Supporting people with disabilities to achieve real social inclusion requires their involvement in employment.
With the vision of the equal access to quality, person-centered community-based services as an important precondition to the deinstitutionalization of people with intelectual disabilities, and to their successful inclusion and active participation in society, CIWA’s community-based supported work activities programs help people enter the world of work.
· People engaged in supported work activities on the open market do various types of work such as labeling products at the warehouses, packing products into transport boxes, work on the production line, internal distribution of goods, mail and documents, arranging products on shelves in retail outlets, cleaning the premises. Participation in work activities has led to full-time employment outside of CIWA’s support for cca 15 people.
· People engaged in supported work activities in the Work/Day center manufacture a variety of textile handicrafts such as embroidery and painting of cotton bags, tablecloths, pillows and stuffed toys.
CIWA developed product line in cooperation with international designers as part of the Extraordinary Design workshop on inclusive design. This workshop was organized by the School of Design, Faculty of Architecture, University of Zagreb, and the Croatian Designers Society in co-operation with the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design at the Royal College of Art in London. It helped to develop products recognized for their quality and design. Products are being sold at stands in shopping malls, at various holidays and fairs, in several design stores and through our web shop (www.ducansasrcem.hr) and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/center.for.inclusive.work.activities).
· Inclusive volunteeringprogram as the gateway to employment has great results in identifying opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities to volunteer in a work environment and gain work skills on the job. Volunteering for the purpose of gaining work practice and potential employment has been successfully recognized as type of engagement with beneficial to some people.