INCLUSION OF PEOPLE WITH DOWN SYNDROME: How to get a job if you are a person with a disability
During the 20 months of the EU project PONOS, which was carried out by the Public Open University Zagreb with the aim of increasing the employability of people with disabilities, almost 50 of them received confirmation of their competence. A dozen of them found employment. Five of them got an offer to stay working at Batak Grill and Torterie Macaron, where they did their internship.
Six mentors worked with them. Through this project, they not only taught others how to work but also educated themselves on how to adapt the workplace to a disabled person who becomes a member of their team.
Announcement of cuisine workshops
We are collecting applications for special workshops that will take place in several sessions. We are preparing a workshop on popular fruit juices - smoothies, salty snacks - canapes and healthy desserts.Read more
Depending on the interest and possibilities, we will announce detailed information about the time of the workshops and the content of the workshops in a timely manner. If some of these topics sound interesting to you, contact us. 😊
Participation in the celebration of the World Down Syndrome Day
On Sunday, March 19, 2023, the Center for Neurodevelopmental Integration - Refleksa - and the World Youth Alliance Croatia invited us to celebrate this important date together. The goal of the event is to raise awareness of the problems and challenges that people with Down syndrome and their families face on a daily basis.Read more
The EU project PONOS participated with a creative culinary workshop of canapés. The event had many other contents, including a musical performance by Mile Kekin, pop group Feminnem, Dino Jelusić and others musicians.
Our Project Manager Zinka Mujkić took care of the atmosphere, so everyone was happy and dancing.
As part of our culinary activities, we organized the preparation of barbecue dishes for our future and existing participants. We prepared the grilled dishes with the help of the non-governmental organization World Youth Alliance Croatia, and we thank them for that.
During the event, we distributed leaflets specially prepared for the occasion, talked to passers-by and distributed promotional materials - ballpoint pens and our own coloring books.
The event was covered by Croatian Radio Television ("HRT") in three time slots, including the midday News. Our leader of the culinary workshop, collaborator on the project, Sanja Paprenjak, was interviewed by more local tv stations: Z1 Television and Nova TV.
This event contributed to the visibility of the entire PONOS project. The musician Mile Kekin followed us on Instagram and agreed to jointly publish two videos from the event, which gave us a total reach of over 3 thousand views and over 500 likes.
A big thank you to everyone who participated!
Open Information Day / Round Table
The implementation of practical classes in the restaurants of our partners exceeded the expectations of our participants, as well as those of other participants in the project. We are proud (PONOSni in Croatian) that the expectations of the project team came true and that as many as five participants received job offers in the restaurants where they attended practical classes!Read more
This news makes us very happy and at the same time raises many questions for the participants and their parents. Questions such as: What kind of employment is it? Do participants lose some of their rights as persons with disabilities?
These and many other questions you may have will be answered by: Marijana Janković from the Rehabilitation Center Zagreb, Orlovac, coordinator in employment with support, senior expert adviser for the employment of PWDs from the Croatian Employment Service, Dina Glavan; Institute for Expertise, Professional Rehabilitation and Employment of Persons with Disabilities (ZOSI), SOIH - Union of Associations of Persons with Disabilities in Croatia - Marica Mirić, Employer Representative with an example of good employment practice, Association for Self-Advocacy - Damjan Janjušević, Public Open University Zagreb and partners employers Batak and Torterie Macaron.
It is our wish that our participants land a job in tourism and catering. In addition to practical knowledge and skills, depending on the chosen field (cook, waiter, confectioner), it is necessary to have knowledge of the English language.Read more
Every day we are surrounded by people who communicate in foreign languages, so we have to ask ourselves how successfully we use the English language in that everyday communication?
English teacher Vesna Cvetković, instructed the participants in the rules of communication with guests in a restaurant, with naming of foods and other words in tourism and catering.
The accelerated pace, but cheerful atmosphere encouraged the participants to be active and to make great progress in their knowledge of the English language.
The Third Cycle
We have opened enrollment in the third cycle of verified training programs for the professions: cook, waiter and confectioner. Part of the practical training was done by the participants in the partner restaurants Batak Grill and Torterie Macaron.Read more
After the presenters, who are employees of the restaurant, got to know the participants, slowly but surely, they achieved good communication. It soon became clear that they had become a well-established team. Division of work, responsibility, patience and attention, helped the joint success. We successfully brought two groups to the end of the program. Join us and be part of the PONOS program!
We were happy that, after the first group, we had an even bigger turnout for enrollment in the second group of participants. Interest in the program in training for the profession of confectioner has increased.Read more
We have adjusted the program and schedule of classes in agreement with the mentors so that, regardless of the larger number of participants, everyone receives equal attention in their education. The participants were especially delighted by the practical classes at the partners, the Batak Grill and Torterie Macaron restaurants.
The first group of participants will soon receive certificates of their successfully completed verified training program.Read more
We are very proud of them for trusting us to embark on this project together. We learned a lot together.
Culinary Presentation of the PONOS Project
On the plateau in front of the main entrance to the Public Open University Zagreb on Friday, November 25, from 12:00 to 2:00 p.m., an event was organized called "Nešto fino kuha Martino" ("Martino is Cooking Something Nice")".Read more
The occasion was the promotion of the PONOS project. Our Project Manager Zinka Mujkić , invited all PWDs to participate in one of the many workshops that are starting soon.
More than 500 visitors enjoyed the dishes prepared for them by the excellent chef Martino Zanelli - Kovačić. Beans with sausages, roasted chicken, coleslaw salad are just some of the dishes on the menu. The crowd warmed up with hot drinks.
It was especially lively in our info corner, where future participants were informed about the free programs and content available to them. On this occasion, many secured their place at one of the workshops that will start soon. The entire event was covered by the television crew of Otvorena Televizija. We are planning more similar events, so follow us on social networks to keep up to date!
Announcement of the culinary presentation: "Martino is Cooking Something Nice"
Public Open University Zagreb invites you to a culinary presentation, tasting and socializing within the EU project funded by the ESF: PONOS - Pučko otvoreno učilište Zagreb Obrazuje Nezaposlene Osobe s invaliditetom (CODE NUMBER: UP.02.2.2.17.0031).
The event "Martino is Cooking Something Nice" will be held on Friday, November 25 from 12:00 to 2:00 p.m. on the plateau in front of the main entrance to the Public Open University Zagreb, Ulica grada Vukovara 68. Visitors can expect a real culinary show, where virtuoso chef Martino Zanelli will prepare delicacies for tasting. Forward this invitation to members of your organization, your users and collaborators. In the hope that you will join us at the event "Martino is Cooking Something Nice", the PONOS team warmly welcomes you.
In addition to the culinary-tasting moment, the event is an opportunity to get to know each other, for our PONOS team to present its activities and free verified training programs for the professions: chef, confectioner and waiter.
The aim of the project is to improve the employability and integration into the labor market of persons with disabilities. The event will be held on the occasion of the Zagreb Public Open University Open Day.
The event "Martino is Cooking Something Nice" will be held on Friday, November 25 from 12:00 to 2:00 p.m. on the plateau in front of the main entrance to the Public Open University Zagreb, Ulica grada Vukovara 68.
Visitors can expect a real culinary show, where virtuoso chef Martino Zanelli will prepare delicacies for tasting.
Forward this invitation to members of your organization, your users and collaborators.
In the hope that you will join us at the event "Martino is Cooking Something Nice", the PONOS team warmly welcomes you.
The show "Hodalica" on Radio Student
Public Open University Zagreb presented its project PONOS on Thursday, November 10, 2022, at the show Hodalica on the Student radio station (100.5 MHz). Editor Ivana Šeparović hosted Damjan Lissko, secretary of the Croatian Federation of Wheelchair Basketball. The show talked about the rules of basketball games in wheelchairs, the appearance of the hall and the course of the game itself.Read more
Marija Nikoleta Đivanović, basketball player of the Zagreb Basketball Club with Disabilities and Lukrecija Tomušić, player and secretary of the Kostrena Basketball Club, described the game, but also shared with the listeners some tips for safe play in the basketball hall:
- Try to control the speed of the wheels in order to avoid a heavy collision or overturning.
- Before starting training or a match, check the tires.
- Be sure to stretch and warm up well before training or a match.
Training helps to strengthen balance, strength of arms, trunk, pelvis, which makes everyday life easier. Join one of the sports clubs!
Listen to the show: https://www.mixcloud.com/RadioStudent/hodalica-damjan-liska-10112022/
Participation in the Workshop "Effective Communication as a Prerequisite for the Establishment of Effective Relationships"
The international project "ATTEND our way - Support for achieving equal opportunities in education for students with developmental disabilities" launched a series of workshops.Read more
One of the goals of the project is to equip institutions with assistive technology. In the organization of CARNET, in the Centar za odgoj i obrazovanje Zagreb, on November 15 2022, a workshop was held on the topic "Effective communication as a prerequisite for the establishment of effective relationships."
Three excellent lecturers presented the topics: "Universal design and accessibility", "Universal design in teaching - a prerequisite for an inclusive society" and "Assisted communication".
Željka Car Prof. Ph.D.Sc., Professor at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, explained the topic of assistive technologies in more detail. In order to frame the broader picture, she introduced the participants to terminology and interesting facts.
During the coronavirus epidemic, when education rapidly shifted to virtual learning, the quality of teaching content in Croatia was actually at the level of rich countries. Interest in ICT - Information Communication Technology and Assisted Communication was initiated. The goals of these technologies and communication systems are to avoid separation into groups of users. Broaden their use to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or special design. It should be kept in mind that there are degrees of disability. Some people are permanently and some only temporarily disabled. Temporary disability is called contextual disability. Example: when we carry a lot of things from the store, we have a baby in a stroller, we have a broken leg in a cast... When designing access to a residential building, access is not tested with a disabled person or with a contextually disabled person. For each such part of the urban environment, equal opportunities should be provided so that everyone can participate equally in social, economic, cultural and entertainment activities.
In order to move from the position of commentators and critics without constructive thinking, it is necessary to present positive examples. Professor Car, mentioned some of the positive examples.
Car presented the ARASAAC project, a non-commercial gallery of symbols and resources for augmentative and assisted communication. These resources can be freely used in classes and everyday life with one condition. The contents must be signed with the download address, with a caption below the contents. They make communication easier for everyone, not just people with disabilities. The project was financed by the Spanish government.
In practice, shopping centers are rare buildings that respect all the principles of universal design. Cruisers for long cruises are perfectly equipped for PWDs.
In the design of user interfaces and the experiential design of websites and applications, care should be taken with the use of colors and the use of fonts. Using more than 3 colors has been shown to cause confusion in most of the population. There are specific groups of people, such as people with cerebral palsy, who benefit best from text and content in the red color spectrum.
People with dyslexia simply have different activities in the brain. When reading, the parts of the brain that are active in native Chinese speakers are activated. We must make sure that we have a sufficiently large contrast of the content text, at least it is 4.5:1, and it is preferable that it be 7:1. A specially developed font for people with dyslexia and dysgraphia, Open Dyslexic, proved to be poor in application. There is a typeface called OmoType which was developed in Croatia and which proved to be much better for this application. The OmoType typography was designed after thorough research and testing and has as many as 240 types of typefaces. In order to make the content as accessible as possible to a wider audience, it is necessary to use accessibility features that have been available for a long time and that have been developed as additions to the design of websites and applications. You should use fonts without serifs, sans-serif typography. It is mandatory to keep the possibility of returning to the initial settings. The advice for everyone is: familiarize yourself with the possibilities of accessibility settings on your computer and mobile phone. We never know which function could make it easier for us to use in our daily life.
After these positive examples, we must not forget that there are still unresolved issues of accessibility of use. Working with the computer by moving the mouse turned out to be unintuitive. The use of tablets is more intuitive here. The use of holograms in mathematics classes for the presentation of geometric figures was presented as a major technological advance. The question arises whether this type of exposure is equally accessible to everyone.
Ivana Maceković described the situation with universal design in teaching. Teachers who adapt the curriculum often create teaching materials themselves. In Croatia, there are almost no textbooks for students with disabilities for high school classes. Organizations like CAST are working to break down barriers and move towards universal learning conditions. Games such as the didactic-mathematical system NUMICON for teaching mathematics have a great positive impact. The competence network ICT-AAC for innovative services intended for people with complex communication needs is working on a multitude of projects that will raise awareness of the pursuit of universal design. In our region, we face the problem of adaptation because software solutions are not in the spirit of the Croatian language.
The topic "Assisted communication" was presented by Ivana Vuk, M.Sc. speech therapist. In order for the Unicef Charter on Communication Rights to take root in practice, considerable progress is being made in this field. Some of them are also technological achievements. For example, there is the GoTalk application and the BIGmack hardware solution. Along with the increasingly rich professional literature, there is a great need for simple literature that parents can use.
We are thankful to the organizer CARNET for the invitation, the Centar za odgoj i obrazovanje for hosting and the top experts, lecturers, for the useful information from their lectures. We hope for cooperation in the future, the global development of universal design and the awareness of our environment about these key issues of our future.
Initial conference of the PONOS Project - Public Open University Educates Unemployed Persons with Disabilities
On September 13, 2022, the opening conference of the EU project PONOS was held at the Public Open University Zagreb – Public Open University Educates Unemployed Persons with Disabilities.Read more
The PONOS project was created in cooperation with the Public Open University Zagreb and partners Torterie Macaron and Batak restaurants.
The project manager Zinka Mujkić presented the details and goals of the project to numerous guests, future participants and the wider interested public:
- Improving the employability and integration into the labor market of unemployed persons with disabilities in the tourism and hospitality sector from the City of Zagreb and Zagreb County
- Improvement of professional, pedagogical and andragogic knowledge, skills and competencies of lecturers, mentors and members of the project team for working with people with disabilities.
In his introductory speech, the Director of the Public Open University Zagreb, Mr. Ivan Šutalo, emphasized that this project arose from the concept of lifelong learning, which was created precisely in response to the demands of modern society, where the amount of new knowledge is increasing every day, and the existing knowledge is increasing and it becomes obsolete faster.
"Just as we have tried to keep up with changes for all these 115 years of existence, listening to the needs of citizens, the needs of man, but also the needs of the labor market, we also continuously strive to provide the best possible educational opportunities to people in a disadvantageous position, people who need additional support due to the fact that they are in a disadvantageous position compared to other members of society." - added Šutalo and additionally emphasized the vision of the European Union strategy according to Commission President Ursula von der Leyen:
"Persons with disabilities have the right to: good conditions at the workplace, independent living, equal opportunities, full participation in the life of their community. Everyone has the right to live without obstacles and it is our obligation, as a community, to ensure their full participation in society, on an equal basis with others“.
Director Ivan Šutalo pointed out that we are proud that during the PONOS project, as many as 48 people with disabilities will be trained for the professions of cooks, confectioners and waiters, and they will be enabled to attend numerous other informal workshops in addition to the training programs. "Unemployed persons with disabilities trained for new occupations in the catering sector and strengthened by this positive experience will certainly become competitive on the labor market and ready for an independent life without dependence on parents or institutions.” – Šutalo concluded. "I believe that another added value of this project is the education of experienced lecturers and mentors who will improve their professional and andragogical knowledge for working with people with disabilities and who, during the project, will be sensitized to work with people who have specific educational needs."
In her powerful motivational speech, Vice-President of the Association of People with Disabilities in Croatia, Ms. Marica Mirić, pointed out the status of people with disabilities and students with disabilities in the Republic of Croatia and emphasized the importance of promoting inclusion. She highlighted the important role of the Republic of Croatia in promoting the rights of persons with disabilities and stressed that the PONOS project, with its synergistic effect, contributes to the promotion of the rights of persons with disabilities and increases their employability on the labor market, where there is currently a high demand for qualified persons from the tourism and hospitality sector.
Ms. Iva Bihler Nađ, on behalf of the partners' representatives, expressed the motivation of the partner organizations to participate in this relevant project and emphasized everyone's desire to actively contribute to the inclusion of people with disabilities in the labor market, and thus in society and the community as a whole.
The formal conference was concluded with an inspiring speech by Ms. Natalija Krajnović, representative of the Office of the Ombudsman for Persons with Disabilities, who emphasized the importance of the PONOS project for the inclusion of persons with disabilities in the labor market and in society itself.