“My Career Matters” (MCM) aimed, on the one hand at developing career management skills of People with Intellectual Disabilities by improving their access to useful labor market information and increasing their participation to lifelong learning programs, and on the other hand, to improving the quality of career guidance services dedicated to People with Intellectual Disabilities.

The project is co-financed by the Erasmus + Programme of the European Union and is implemented, between October 1, 2020 – September 30, 2022, by a transnational consortium led by HAO, which includes partners from four other countries: Consultis – Consultoria Empresarial, Unipessoal Lda. (Portugal), Status Employment (UK), Valakupiai Rehabilitation Center (Lithuania) and M&M Profuture Training SL (Spain). The total value of the project is 201,160 euros.

„The lack of adaptation of lifelong learning programmes to the actual needs of People with Intellectual Disabilities, the lack of personalised services and the absence of accessible information materials presented in an easy to read/understand format are the main obstacles in ensuring equal opportunities for People with Intellectual Disabilities in education and later on, in career management. People with Intellectual Disabilities are highly dependent on others, they have only limited occupational choices and to a lesser extent and they are more socially isolated. The statistics are relevant : according to the National Agency for People with Disabilities in Romania, only 2.5% of People with Intellectual Disabilities work in our country, compared to about 20% in the UK. Unfortunately, things are not much different in Spain, Portugal and Lithuania, the other project Partner countries. These are the reasons why we considered that such a project is more than necessary in our countries”, underlines Nicolae Dobrescu, Executive Director of HAO and Manager of the project ‚My Career Matters!’.

The project is mainly addressed to young People Intelectual Disabilities who will benefit from an Information Guide on the labor market which will help them to orient themselves better in their career choices. The material will be designed in an accessible easy to read and understand format and will include information on: labor market trends, professions and occupations, education and training options, labor legislation (salary, deductions, benefits, annual leave, etc). The guide will include information on 25 job profiles (tasks, working conditions, skills required, salary / hour, associated jobs), case studies, related exercises and optional activities, links to other readily available resources.

People with Intellectual Disabilities will also benefit from a Career Information Training Package, comprising of three courses specifically designed to develop their skills and help them overcome the information and/or psychological barriers they are facing. By participating to these training sessions, People with Intellectual Disabilities will gain useful information on: employment, professions, occupations and jobs, minimum requirements for professions and skills, full job descriptions, training and employment opportunities. They will also learn: to recognise their strengths, to explore appropriate career options, to write CVs and a covering letters. Special attention will be paid by our specialists to provide useful information on the rights of people with disabilities in accordance with the national legislation, including those regarding to reasonable accommodation at work, unemployment and social protection as well as on topics such as undeclared work, working abroad, exploitation at work.

At the same time, the project is aimed at trainers working with People with Intellectual Disabilities, VET specialists and recruiters on the labor market. They will benefit from an informational toolkit on labor market ‚Xplore LMI’ designed to support them in practical activities leading to improved quality of lifelong vocational guidance, addressed and tailored to the needs of People with Intellectual Disabilities. Thus, the specialists involved in ‚My Career Matters!’ project will develop a set of innovative tools (activities, games) along with related methodological support adapted to the needs of their People with Intellectual Disabilities, on exploring and managing Labor Market Information in different contexts (school, transition from school to work, job search, employment) and will develop a guide for practitioners in training sector and employment with regards to the organisation, structuring and provision of information on labor market to People with Intellectual Disabilities.

The direct target group of the project ‚My Career Matters!’ consists of 375 People with Intellectual Disabilities and 600 specialists from different sectors of adult education, both in the public and private sector.

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