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The LIFE Program for People With Disabilities

To overcome the barriers facing PWDs in Armenia, LIFE program works to promote equal employment opportunities and access to employment as a basic human right for people with disabilities.

LIFE program (2012-2015) is implemented by Save the Children under the funding from the US Agency for International Development and in partnership with Activa International Foundation, Unison NGO, Human Dignity and Peace (HDP) Foundation, and Full Life NGO. The program closely cooperates with the Ministry of Labor and Social Issues (MLSI) of Armenia, the State Employment Service Agency (SESA), Employment Centers, DPOs, PWDs, NGOs, local and marz authorities, service providers, municipalities, technical and vocational education and training (TVET) institutions and employers.

The Program Objectives

The program's strategic objective is to establish an effective model for provision of employment services to PWDs in Armenia through:

  1. Personal development of PWDs through assessments, skill enhancement and job placement;
  2. Capacity building of service providers, DPOs, public/private employers, and TVET institutions to meet the needs of PWDs.
  3. Use of mass media, internet and conferences to increase public awareness and outreach to PWDs; and
  4. External technical support to the GOA in developing, implementing and monitoring employment services for PWDs and related strategies and policies.

The Activities within Objectives:

Objective I. Vocational and professional assessments of PWDs; development of Individual Professional Development Plans for training and job placement; PWDs' professional skills development through TVET and professional rehabilitation; work readiness and life skills training; job matching; job (internship) placements and post placement support; integrated work environments created (new and/or adapted workplaces); establishment of four social enterprises in cooperation with Yerevan, Vanadzor and Spitak Municipalities; small grants to DPOs and NGOs to facilitate job placement of PWDs in integrated settings; establishing Coordination Working Groups.

Objective 2. Gap analysis of other projects to evaluate successes and weaknesses; training of SESA, DPOs and service providers; capacity building of teachers to conduct inclusive classes; establishing a Capacity Building Working Group;

Objective 3. Production and dissemination of awareness raising materials; use of Internet and web links; involvement and awareness raising of parents and children from schools; annual press conferences; national conference on employment of PWDs;

Objective 4. Review of existing legislation to provide recommendations for inclusion of best internationally recognized models and practices into country policies; development of guidelines and training manuals.

The Program Geography

The LIFE program will be implemented in 10 communities of Yerevan and in Ararat, Gegharkunik, Lori and Shirak marzes.

The Beneficiaries

Direct Beneficiaries: PWDs 18 to 64 years old consisting of both females and males in relatively equal numbers, including disabled adults, youth, and children with special needs in their last year school; SESA and its network of Employment Centers.

Indirect Beneficiaries: DPOs will gain additional awareness on the needs and rights of PWDs and how to reach out to PWDs. Employers (public and private) will benefit from increased awareness on the rights of PWDs in the workplace. Vocational and other training institutions will gain knowledge on provision of vocational training to PWDs, adaption of training settings, exposure to international practices and models, and linkages to the private sector to update courses to current labor market needs.

 

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