The Project

The Project

Application for financial assistance to continuing training organisations for the years 2017-2020

Amendments to the entry of 31.08.2016 based on the discussion with the SERFI of 04.11.2016.

Theme: People with disabilities and their access to training

Legal foundations
According to Art. 8 of the Federal Constitution, equality of rights, no one may be discriminated against “because of a physical, mental or psychological disability… The law provides for measures to eliminate disadvantages for the disabled”.
According to Art. 1.2 of the Equal Opportunities for Disabled Persons Act, this also applies to training and further education: “It sets framework conditions that make it easier for people with disabilities……. to train themselves…”.
According to Art. 8 of the Continuing Education Act, the Confederation, together with the cantons, should also “create the conditions for all persons to participate in continuing education”. To this end, the Confederation and the cantons are “endeavouring, in particular, with the continuing education and training they regulate and support: …to meet the special needs of people with disabilities”.
Article 24.5 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Disabled, ratified by Switzerland on 15 April 2014, states: “The contracting states shall ensure that people with disabilities have equal access to general higher education, vocational training, adult education and lifelong learning without discrimination and on an equal footing with others. To this end, States Parties shall ensure that adequate provision is made for persons with disabilities.

Difficult access
There are several reasons why people with disabilities have more difficult access to continuing education:
a) This may be due to external conditions. Courses take place in places and rooms that are difficult for people with disabilities to reach or use;
b) Lecturers/education providers have a lack of knowledge on how to design and prepare continuing education so that people with and without disabilities can participate profitably.
c) There is a lack of public offers which indicate that they are also accessible to persons with disabilities.

Expected benefits from continuing education organisations
In principle, the continuing education organisations are expected to provide services in three respects. I want them to

(a) inform the public on training topics and implement measures to raise awareness of lifelong learning;
(b) provide coordination services that strengthen the continuing training system, in particular through networks;
(c) Implement measures for quality assurance and development of continuing education of overriding public interest.

The catalogue of services described here on the subject of “People with disabilities and their access to further training” takes all three aspects into account.

What does Travail.Suisse Formation TSF want to achieve with its services?
In principle, it is important that people with disabilities have better access to public further training. In the first phase, the focus is on people who have visual impairments. Educational providers should be informed about what they need to do to ensure that both visually impaired and non-visually impaired people can participate easily in their educational events. This knowledge should motivate them to develop and offer concrete further training offers.

Landing approach

Phase 1: Development of basics

The first phase is to work out the basics on this topic. This includes the following elements:

  • Developing the basics of inclusive further training
    documenting the difficulties of visually impaired persons in accessing further education – experiences of visually impaired persons / experiences of educational providers
  • Describe best practice models
  • Creation of a catalogue of criteria (German/French/Italian) that provides information on what a training provider must do to ensure that a visually impaired person can successfully participate in further training.
  • Discussion of the criteria catalogue with the support group.

The result is a comprehensive basic report, which forms the basis for the work in phases 2 and 3.

In phase 1, a network of organisations is to be established which, thanks to their knowledge and experience, can help to solve the above tasks. This includes

  • organisations for the blind (the Swiss Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (Schweizerische Blinden- und Sehbehindertenverband SBV) has already promised to cooperate)
  • Inclusion Handicap, the umbrella organisation for disabled people’s organisations
  • Continuing education providers, especially large providers such as Migros club schools and adult education centres, etc.
  • Continuing education providers who have experience with the visually impaired: Swiss charity action of the blind, Swiss Federation of the Blind, Swiss Association of the Blind and Visually Impaired, possibly also universities
  • Representatives of the Confederation and the cantons IKW, who according to the Continuing Education Act should strive “with the continuing education in particular regulated and supported by them: …to meet the special needs of people with disabilities”.
  • The aim of all these organisations is to bring them closer to each other in personal visits and to win them for their cooperation.
    As a result, there is a network of organizations that are willing to get involved in the topic

The development of the basics should also be accompanied by public relations work in the first phase, where appropriate and necessary. Planned are

  • at least four articles per year in the Travail.Suisse media service
  • the development of a barrier-free homepage on the topic of
  • Information work on the social media
  • contact with selected media representatives who deal with issues relating to equal opportunities for people with disabilities
    Result: Thanks to this work, a basis has been created for the work in phase 3.

Phase 2: Implementation of pilot projects

With the help of a handful of pilot projects, the criteria catalogue is to be tested for its benefits and applicability. For this purpose

  • to win further training providers who plan and conduct one of their courses according to the requirements of the catalogue of criteria.
  • to train the responsible trainers
  • to evaluate the courses with the participants.

The result is a corrected/complemented catalogue of criteria for the organisation of further training courses in which people with and without visual impairments can successfully participate.

Phase 3: Implementation and sensitisation

The third phase concerns the implementation of the results of the basic report. This includes

  • a national conference on the subject, in which the results of the basic report are presented and discussed
  • language regional workshops on the topic, in which the results of the basic report are questioned as to how they can be implemented in everyday life
    the development of language regional platforms between education providers and organisations for the disabled for the creation of public further education in which people with visual impairments can also participate
  • Public relations by Travail.Suisse Formation, including the channels of the network partners, the social media and selected media representatives who deal with issues relating to equal opportunities for people with disabilities.
  • Conducting a media conference on the topic.
  • The result is a sustainable range of public further education courses in which people with visual impairments can successfully participate.

Phase 4: Evaluation

In the fourth phase, an evaluation will be carried out, which will in particular provide information on the

  • Input (information on the resources invested in the project)
  • Output (information on specific services provided by the project)
  • Outcome (information on the changes that have occurred in the target groups).

To a limited extent, information should also be provided on a possible impact (information on changes in society) of the project.
As a result, a meaningful evaluation is available, which contains important information for further projects in this thematic area.

Phase 5: Applying the findings to a new group of people with disabilities

After the completion of this first project, the question is to be asked for which target group a similar project should be developed.