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Developing guidelines for the Model Centre for Social and Work Reintegration of People with Disabilities in Georgia

The government of Georgia took measures to improve the situation for people with disabilities. The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities was ratified, and a decision was made on government funding of the Secretariat of the National Coordination Council for Persons with Disabilities. Legislative, financial and institutional solutions were also introduced to help create a system of support for people with disabilities. Government spending was increased for social services for people with disabilities, the disability pension was raised, and technical regulations were developed for designing elements of public spaces and architectural facilities for people with disabilities.

Despite these positive developments, it is necessary to continue developing support for people with disabilities, and particularly to build a comprehensive, functional system of social and occupational rehabilitation for people with disabilities that allows for effective use of this group’s potential.

Developing guidelines for the Model Centre for Social and Work Reintegration of People with Disabilities in Georgia

The project was implemented between 1 May and 31 December 2016 in Georgia and Poland. The project implementing entity was the Queen Jadwiga Foundation and the local partner was the Social Services Agency, which is a government agency of Georgia’s Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Affairs.

The project is a response to the needs of the Georgian side, which is striving to further develop and implement effective systemic solutions concerning social and occupational rehabilitation of people with disabilities. The aim of the project was to develop complete guidelines for organising a model centre for social and occupational reintegration of people with disabilities at a location indicated by the Georgian side (not far from Tbilisi). The project envisaged transferring knowledge and good practices related to the system of occupational and social rehabilitation of people with disabilities with the use of social economy mechanisms, transferring legal, financial and administrative solutions as well as establishing cooperation between NGOs and public administration. Project beneficiaries were government administration representatives primarily responsible for initiating and implementing systemic solutions benefitting people with disabilities in Georgia, representatives of regional and local authorities and NGOs directly involved with the problems of socially disadvantaged groups.

Developing guidelines for the Model Centre for Social and Work Reintegration of People with Disabilities in Georgia

The project was divided into four stages:

  1. preparation of a report titled The system of support of occupational and social rehabilitation of persons with disabilities in social and occupational reintegration centres, with particular consideration for entities of social economy. The organisation and sources of funding, examples of good-practice facilities;
  2. familiarisation of the Georgian side with the situation in Poland during a training/study visit of a Georgian group to Poland from 23 to 28 July 2016 (7 people);
  3. study visit of a Polish group to Georgia from 4 to 10 September 2016 (8 people);
  4. preparation of guidelines, by a group of experts and study visit participants, for organising a model centre for social and occupational reintegration of people with disabilities and familiarisation of the Georgian side with the prepared guidelines during a training/study visit to Poland on 20 to 25 November 2016 (4 people).

The report and guidelines were turned over to the Georgian side and a total of 32 hours of classes were conducted. The model for supporting people with disabilities in Poland was presented during 32 hours of study visits to entities engaged in social and occupational rehabilitation of people with disabilities.

The project led to the establishment of partnerships between NGOs and central, regional and local administrations. The effects are already visible, and include competition for running the Centre by KEDEC in Saguramo and cooperation at the ministry and regional level in the Mtskheta-Mtianeti region.