The BELVEDERE LTTA at TU Graz is coming to an end. This week alone, 12 videos and 76 audio recordings were done for the MOOC, with partners from Germany, Austria, Spain and Scotland. Now it’s time for post-production.
Besides that we almost finalized our Toolbox, which will be published on our website in a few weeks. We are already very excited for you to see our finished work!
We also made progress towards our Curriculum and our Training program.
Of course a little cultural and culinary exchange with our partners was very important. Therefore lots of restaurants and food had to be tested and sightseeing needed to be done. During those events we used the time to tighten our relations across european borders and got to know each others organisations even better.
Until the 70s and 80s of the last millennium, there was a great grievance in psychiatric care: Mentally ill people were excluded or led a socially marginalised life due to their limitations. The so-called “Psychiatry Inquiry” drew attention to this. It initiated a development aimed at raising the quality of treatment and rehabilitation of mentally ill people to a new level of quality. In the course of this, “aid associations” were founded and given the task of setting up appropriate services in the regions. These were to help those affected to live, live and work according to their possibilities and needs. The aim was that the people would no longer be on the margins but “in” society. In the region, these were the Arkade e.V., the Pauline 13 and the Sprungbrett association. At the beginning of the 1990s, these three associations joined forces to form the Arkade-Pauline 13. A little later, the Centre for Psychiatry in Weissenau joined as a fourth sponsor. In 1994, Arkade-Pauline 13 gGmbH started with the specialist integration service (Integrationsfachdienst – IFD). The following year, the psychiatric day clinic in Friedrichshafen started operating. Since 2015, our most recent business division has been the vocational support services. As of December 2022, the Arkade-Pauline 13 has a total of 91 employees. Of these, 43 employees work in the vocational support services, a further 26 employees are based in the psychiatric day clinic and 22 employees in the specialist integration service (IFD).
The work of the Integration Service (IFD)
The IFD basically plays a neutral advisory role on the subject of participation in working life. Its task is to advise and support people with disabilities and their employers on all issues relating to the respective employment or training relationship. Another task of the IFD is to support people with disabilities in preparing for the general labour market. In addition, school leavers, also with disabilities, are supported in their transition to the general labour market. Individual ability, performance and interest profiles are drawn up in preparation for the general labour market. In addition, the aim is to secure long-term employment for people with disabilities and to advise employers who (want to) employ people with disabilities.
The work of the Psychiatric Day Clinic
The Psychiatric Day Clinic treats people who are suffering from a psychiatric disorder. The treatment can be carried out on a part-time inpatient or outpatient basis. People can come when they need more treatment than outpatient therapy can provide. At the same time, these people do not have to be cared for “around the clock” and can spend the evenings and weekends in their familiar home environment.
The work of the Vocational Support Services
We have been advising and accompanying people with intensive support needs in their vocational integration for over 25 years. Our focus is on preparation and placement in work and training. To this end, we advise our participants holistically and in a target group-specific manner. Our team is characterised by a high level of professional competence and accompanies people with (multiple) placement barriers. We offer a wide range of measures for different target groups and with different goals as well as target attainment on the labour market. Our target group mainly includes young adults who are difficult to reach, older people who are able to work, people with disabilities and people with a migration background, some of whom are also traumatised. In our daily work, we focus on the resources of diversity and special abilities. Our work includes sound knowledge of the necessary support options and individual qualification programmes. We need this in order to achieve a successful and sustainable integration into the general labour market together with our participants. Over the many years of placing and supporting people with disabilities and/or limitations, we have been able to establish extensive networks in the region. We are connected to all relevant networks and community psychiatric associations in the districts. We are also in good contact with many employers in the area. This enables us to offer our participants the best possible services in the region in various cooperations and constellations.
Why we join BELVEDERE
In our work, we experience again and again how important it has become to keep up with the state of digital development. This affects not only our clients but also us as an institution and our staff. Digital progress is developing at breakneck speed and is finding its way into all areas of life. This poses challenges for many, whether private individuals or companies. Therefore, it is important to be close to the topic of digitalisation and to constantly develop oneself. In order to be able to support our clients in dealing with digital media, it is important for us as professionals to know which tools are available and how they can be used in our work. The better our knowledge of digital tools of all kinds, the better we can use them for ourselves and are also able to explain their use to our staff and clients. Through the work on BELVEDERE we have the possibility to test many different tools, to improve ourselves and to develop an offer for others with which it is possible to get an overview of suitable digital tools that can be used for their work. In addition, BELVEDERE offers us an intensive exchange with organisations that do similar work to ours beyond the country’s borders. This generates new ideas and suggestions for our own further development. In addition, there is the possibility of networking with each other beyond the project, which can be valuable for everyone involved.
As part of the content for our website, we thought we would introduce each of the partnering organisations involved in the BELVEDERE project, so everyone has a little background information on the work they do and why they decided to get involved with BELVEDERE.
First up to be introduced is ENABLE Works, one of the largest specialist employability services in Scotland. ENABLE Works works across 28 of Scotland’s 32 local authorities and supports over 5000 people with a disability into work every year.
The organisation is the employability arm of the ENABLE group, which is made up of three pillars- ENABLE Scotland, ENABLE Works and ENABLE Cares. ENABLE Scotland campaigns and empowers people across Scotland to speak up for the human rights of every person who has a learning disability. All our campaigns are developed based on the experience of our members, ensuring we focus on the issues that have the most impact on their lives and that we are working to drive change wherever it is needed.
ENABLE Cares provides human rights driven, self-directed health & social care to people across Scotland. We support people to shape their own support and enable them to live the life they choose as independently as possible within their own communities.
ENABLE Works is our employability arm and the part of the group that is involved in the BELVEDERE project. We support people with disabilities and health conditions to address the barriers they may be facing to employment, explore their own individual talents and qualities, build their skills and move into meaningful, sustainable employment. We also work with over 2,000 employers across Scotland to increase diversity within their workforce and adopt inclusive workplace practices. We have a dedicated Diversity and Inclusion team who support employers to gain a greater understanding of disability issues and help them to feel more confident in hiring disabled employees and supporting them in the workplace. This works goes hand-in-hand with our supported employment models, which provide holistic, person-centred specialist support for people with disabilities or long-term health conditions with the aim of moving them into valued, fulfilling work roles.
Our organisation was created in 1954, when five sets of parents met in Glasgow to discuss the possibility of setting up a Scottish organisation to help parents of children who have a learning disability, and to get better services for their families. At the time, most children and adults in the UK who had learning disabilities were living with and cared for by their families, but they faced strong stereotypes, stigmatism and a lack of support. These families wanted to change that and on the day they set up their initial meeting, over 300 people attended. An organisation was born and 40 years later that organisation would become ENABLE Scotland. Since then we have fought to ensure that people who have learning disabilities have the same human rights as others, enabling them to play a part in their communities, to have an education and a job, and to develop the friendships that others take for granted.
My role within ENABLE Works is as an Employability Team Leader for our All in Glasgow programme, a supported employment project for people with a disability or long-term health condition living in Glasgow City- created to address their needs and aspirations. In 2018, the Scottish Government published their Disabled People and the Labour Market statistics, which showed that that nationally 45.6% of disabled people were in employment, compared to 81.1% of the non-disabled population. However, in Glasgow this was much lower, with only 36% of disabled people in employment and the economic downturn as a result of COVID-19 expected to make the situation much worse. This is why All in Glasgow is specifically aimed at ensuring well-paid, sustainable jobs for the people we support and ensuring organisations in the city have a culture, practices and overall strategy which is fair and inclusive.
ENABLE Works were extremely keen to be involved in the BELVEDERE project when we heard of the aims to identify best practice examples and approaches of supporting disadvantaged clients across Europe into employment and developing further ones. It is crucial that the professionals supporting our clients can identify appropriate digital tools to empower our clients and prepare them for their new working lives. Digital technology is more readily available than ever before and will arguably play a central role in both the personal and professional lives of our clients. Being digitally literate in today’s world has overwhelming benefits for our clients and so it is incredibly important that practical and sustainable measures are taken to ensure clients can access available digital tools which will be appropriate to their specific requirements and initial and ongoing support is available to them in using these tools.
Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, being digitally literate has had invaluable benefits. The internet has meant we could keep connected with our friends and family, we can be kept informed on current events in our local areas and world news, and it has also been used for entertainment, online learning, work, shopping and countless other public services. For all of these reasons, ENABLE Works are incredibly excited to be a part of the BELVEDERE project and developing a toolkit which looks at innovative uses of digital technology and sharing an approach which can be adopted across Europe to support our clients and ensure that they too can reap the benefits of an increasingly digital world!
We have achieved an important interim goal. The basic framework for the curriculum of the learning modules is in place and the contents for the first toolbox (communication and collaboration) have been developed. The manuscript for the introductory video is also ready. The first recordings in the MOOC Studio have been made. We now have a good template for the further processing of the following modules and are optimistic that all partners have a good working basis for the upcoming LTTA.
If we look at different organisations how they support disadvantaged young people and adults in vocational training, qualification and placement, an impressive number of different approaches can be found. Even more, if we look also at organisations in different European countries. But with this diversity, how can we manage to find the similarities as well as a common language in a project with partners from four countries so that the results to be developed in it fit everywhere?
This exciting challenge stood at the beginning of the three-year ERASMUS+ project called BELVEDERE. The target group of this project is professionals from social organisations who accompany and support disadvantaged young people and adults on their way into a employment. Five such organisations from Germany, Scotland, Spain and Austria are working together in BELVEDERE, with more than 200 persons from this specific target group.
While all five organisations share the same aim of supporting these young people and adults, their processes to reach this aim vary considerably. Through a series of interviews to dive into these approaches, and a following analysis of the results, a unified process model was developed that is intended to serve as the needed common language.
The figure shows the six phases (in blue) of accompanying and supporting disadvantaged clients that could be identified in all participating organisations (despite different labeling and different variations regarding the specific approaches within these phases), and two support phases (in green) that span along the entire length of participation by clients. In the further course of the project, this model is used to identify suitable technical support in each of these phases and to develop realistic deployment scenarios for them with high transfer potential to other organisations.