How EU Funds support persons with disabilities - examples

Below you will find some concrete examples on how persons with disabilities benefit from EU Funding


Job coaching for young persons in Austria


My name is Selina Šisic and I am 16 years old. I live in Wels, a city in Upper Austria. I’ve studied in a school in Wels (it was the “Neue Mittelschule Wels 6”) and then I was in an agricultural college for another year. At my school in Wels there was a counseling offer called “Youth Coaching” (“Jugendcoaching”). Already at school I knew that I would like to work in an office.

The “Youth Coaching”, which is co-financed by the EU (European Social Fund +), helped me to find out the next steps concerning my job. Because of the Youth Coaching, I found out that I’d like to do a vocational training as an office worker. Then my youth coach informed a coach from another project called “Working Assistance for Youth” (“Arbeitsassistenz für Jugendliche”) about my wish. There, my working assistant helped me to prepare application documents and to find companies which offer vocational training.

Since 1st of October 2018, I am attending a vocational training as an office worker at the “Volkshilfe Arbeitswelt”. The vocational training is adapated, because of my disability (Editor's note: Selina is a wheelchair user). Usually the vocational training lasts 3,5 year, but I can do it in 4,5 years and I get a special support for my schooling during this time (private tutoring). In my vocational training I have a coach from the “vocational training assistance” (“Berufsausbildungsassistenz”). In the office I get support from a personal assistant.

I like my job very much and I feel very well in my team.  I can rely on my colleagues. To attend this vocational training is very important for me and my life. I am happy, that I have got this opportunity.


Work experience in France

Madeline, Christopher and Nicole:

"We are workers with intellectual disabilities part of a work experience scheme of the association APEI de Roubaix-Tourcoing, in the North of France

Work experience schemes are a national programme, funded by the French state.

These schemes offer work experience and support for unemployed persons with social and professional problems.

Thanks to the funding of the European Social Fund, the scheme is adapted to persons with intellectual disabilities us: we have more support staff, including job coaches and a counsellor.

We do cleaning, landscaping or constructions work.

The scheme provides work experience between 4 and 24 months.

We are part of the scheme to prepare our future, to become independent, to have a wage to pay a flat and the bills. It is very motivating when you have to get up in the morning.

Job coaches teach us how to work, and make sure that work is adapted to each persons, to our abilities and our rhythm. They trust us, boost our self-confidence and encourage us. They’re always available if there is a problem.

The counsellor helps to organise our schedules. She makes professional evaluation and follow our progresses. She visits us on site. She helps with paperwork, she advises us to do some trainings.

After this work experience we’ll be able to find a job in the labour market or to move on to another work integration scheme."


Adapting new technologies to the needs of persons with intellectual disabilities

Cornelia Constantin – European project manager at Papillons Blancs d’Hazebrouck, North of France

Cornelia Constantin

I am the manager of a project co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund in the Hauts-de-France region of France, led by the association Papillons Blancs d’Hazebrouck. The objective of the DOMO – Decide on my own - project is to make new technologies a lever for self-determination, inclusion in society, well-being and quality of life for people with intellectual disabilities. Our approach aims to bridge the digital divide and allow the support and care sector to renew its practices to adapt to changes in society and the digital revolution. The DOMO project focuses on the needs and expectations of the supported persons. It aims to promote the universal accessibility of new technologies by adapting them to the needs of people with intellectual disability. The human dimension remains at the center of the model of support. I am very happy to participate in this human adventure with our partners, the IoT Innovation Center of Lille, the University of Mons, UDAPEI North, UDAPEI Pas-de-Calais and nine associations Papillons Blancs of the North and Pas-de-Calais.


Cross-border cooperation on political participation of persons with intellectual disabilities

Adapei des Hautes Pyrénées, an organisation for persons with disabilities in the south of France, near the border with Spain, cooperates with Spanish organisations on a project about participation and citizenship of persons with intellectual disabilities.The project is funded by the EU programme INTERREG

The project is currently preparing a video to raise awareness on the European Elections. Below, the testimonial of Nicolas, who works on the video. 

" My name is Nicolas, I am 20 years old.

Every Thursday I am participating in the group with our friends, the IUT (University Technical Institute) students. Together we go and meet people to interview them on citizenship.

I have never voted for the president or for your Europe. Now I would like to do it.

We realise that people do not really know what it means to be a citizen, or what Europe is.

When we ask them about the date of the European elections, they don’t know the answer.

Next week we’ll start filming a fake voting session. We’ll do it with the help of the municipality.

I’m happy to be part of this group. I meet with my friends and I learn new things.

I’m glad that our videos will be shared, and to support persons who do not know how to vote."