Specific objectives of the EU project were:
employers, VET teachers, HR staff, employees, learners
The annexes are selected modules, that were structured in the project DYSVET and are for employers and HR professionals for understanding the needs of a specific approach to deal with dyslexia.
E-books are available at www.dysvet.eu, modules 5-9:
MEDIALAND is an exercise with a dual purpose. The exercise provides insight in one’s own knowledge of disabilities and prejudices. Besides this, the exercise encourages reflecting on the creation of specific “tailored” jobs for employees with disabilities. JKVG uses this exercise during training sessions for professionals like employees of the VDAB, the public employment service of Flanders.
Imagine a media company, a television broadcasting company (e.g. BBC). This company has several job offerings: a journalist, a make-up artist, a technician , a translator … The training participants get the list of available jobs and they get a list of applicants. Little is known about the applicants. Only that they ALL have the needed competences/skills AND they have a specific disability. There is an applicant with MS (Multiple Sclerosis), an applicant with brain damage, a hearing-impaired applicant, a psychotic applicant and so on …
The training participants are divided into small groups and are asked to make “ideal” matches. In other words, they have to say which applicants (with their specific disability or disease), are best suited for the offered jobs. Job-profiles are available, but the participants are not allowed to ask any questions on the disabilities/diseases.
Most of the times there is a lot of moaning and sighing during the exercise. The participants succeed rather quickly in picturing the jobs … but to obtain a correct image of the disabilities seems to be a lot more difficult. People are confronted with their limited knowledge of disabilities and diseases. What exactly is MS again? The situation of people with MS, deteriorates very quickly, doesn’t it? Brain damage? That means you’re mentally challenged? Or doesn’t it?
Training participants nearly always come to the same conclusion. Their knowledge of even more “common” disabilities is inadequate. They tend to generalize quickly and practically always assume “worst case scenarios”. Consequently job opportunities diminish rapidly. It’s always amazing how many of the professionals get caught in the “trap” of the job-profile. Someone with a specific disability might be able to do 90% of a job, but if the group focuses solely on problematic partial tasks, the outcome is often that the match is completely discarded. “Oh no, it won’t work with that applicant!”
You can’t completely leave out of account a disability. If it doesn’t result in any kind of restriction, it wouldn’t be a disability. However, a lot of disability related problems can be solved by adapting job profiles, flexible and innovative work organization, adapting working conditions … All of this facilitates an optimized day-to-day performance of the job. And of course there are government measures to compensate for loss of productivity and to (partially) pay for (expensive) workplace adaptations if necessary.
MEDIALAND gives the participants the opportunity to experience that they are too much “problem” focused, while they should be oriented on a positive search for solutions. Due to lack of knowledge and a one-dimensional problem oriented approach, sight of the bigger picture is lost. The MEDIALAND-experience can be the start of a future, different, better and certainly more positive approach of recruitment and employment of persons with a disability.