Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Don't Dis my Ability

Hello everyone,

In Tanzania there is still a lot of stigma related to disabilities. Somewhere they are still completely hidden, but mostly somewhat accepted and in certain areas already educated and included. Yet, the biggest obstacle is seeing them as active human beings, as agents in their own lives. This is highly visible especially when planning any movement to work life or any level of  independent living solutions.
As we are planning new ways to plan  long term solutions for the adolescence with disabilities and transfer from school to society, we've been thinking of molding the supported employment model a bit to fit this context, which now under further planning and hopefully will form into some kind of action by next year.
This is my uttermost desire, as vocational path is the most relevant in rural areas (at least in Tanzania) for adolescence with disability. Starting your own company/shop or working for one of the local ones, you need to learn the skills first! And where to learn them better then at the work, being supervised by the "real" people in "real" life?
But before that let's go back a bit. The problem of it is not them learning, but giving them a chance to learn. Giving them a chance to participate into the society as equal members, not as beneficiaries or rehabilitation customers in some institutions doing something "like work".

Let's see how Tim does it!

The idea behind our planning is based on the supported employment model: 
"This is an employment and recruitment service to assist people, who have a range of disabilities and impairments, to obtain and keep a job. The Service provides a number of 'on-the-job' supports, such as a Job Coach who will assist both the employer and the person seeking employment. In order to avail of the Supported Employment Service, you must genuinely require the initial support of a Job Coach to obtain employment in the open market – see ‘Job Coach’ below.
The range of supports provided by the Service include:
  • Individual needs assessment
  • Vocational profiling and career planning
  • Individual employment plan
  • Job sourcing and job matching
  • On-the-job support and coaching
  • Advice and support to employers
  • Follow-up support and mentoring to both employers and employees"

(text from:
more information (Especially WHY IT WORKS!)

On Lushoto which is a rural area and this is all very new. Understanding disabilities is very new,so  we are hoping by next year to start maybe piloting with very small scale and focusing on getting job practice places and experiences first.

We'll see, anyhow this is a topic I wanted to share. Even on NGO level we have to stop seeing disabled people as receivers, and change the view to active participators. We have to move from services in institutions to services in real life.

Very sunny Wednesday to everyone, and greetings to my old collegues (the most amazing supported employment team I've ever met) at Orton Pro (

Picture from:

- Kirsi S.

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