• Early Childhood Intervention, Employment

Exploring Innovative Vocational Rehabilitation

The Member Forum on Employment visited Shekulo Tov in Israel to discover innovative ways to integrate persons with intellectual disabilities into the open labour market.

From November 1st to 3rd, 2022, a delegation from the Member Forum on Employment visited Shekulo Tov in Israel. The focus was on exploring innovative methods for integrating individuals with intellectual disabilities into the open labor market. Shekulo Tov showcased its award-winning Integrative Unit Model, demonstrating vocational rehabilitation services that prepare individuals for mainstream employment.

The delegation toured Good Coffee (a chain of social cafés in which persons with intellectual and/or psychosocial disabilities can get practical experience in working in the kitchen, as a barista and providing customer service), Rebooks (a chain of second-hand bookstores that encourages the reuse of items whilst seeking to improve hard and soft working skills, including book collecting and storing, sales (including on-line sales) and customer service), and Dandasha (chain of second-hand boutiques for women’s clothing. Workers get to develop skills through practical training that includes styling, sales skills, customer service, inventory management, shop window design, digital marketing, and sewing and repairs) —social enterprises providing practical work experience for people with disabilities.

The visit ended with a discussion between Shekulo Tov and the delegation from the Member Forum around sheltered and protected employment, and ways to move forwards to more innovatice, inclusive and UNCRPD-compliant vocational rehbailitation services for persons with intellectual disabilities.