The Innovative Vocational Education for Autism (IVEA) project aimed at fostering social inclusion of autistic people through employment by developing a European holistic guide. Running from October 2018 to March 2021, the project was funded by the European Commission’s Erasmus + Programme.
People on the autism spectrum usually struggle to gain and maintain employment for a range of reasons. The most obvious of these is their inherent difficulties with communication and social interaction, which affect their abilities to understand employers’ expectations and communicate effectively with managers and colleagues. The deficits in executive functioning and hyper-sensitivity to sensory stimuli, such as sound and light, that some people with autism experience can also make it difficult to get, an/or keep a job.
Thus, the IVEA project aimed at hearing from autistic people what they think that lacks in their training. There are transversal competences that should be introduced to complement the academic curricula, including social and daily life skills and independence.
The project brought together universities, and autism associations, professionals and NGOs across Europe to create a new European Guide for the effective vocational training of autistic people in order to contribute for their successful employment.
The guide was the result of two different trialed training courses: one for people on the autism spectrum and other one for representatives of potential employers (stakeholders, staff from NGO’s, administrative departments, shops). Participants of these trainings interwove in a final internship for autistic people in the entities above referred.
Those involved came from various backgrounds – both national and cultural – and had a wide set of skills. The project coordinator, the Federação Portuguesa de Autismo – FPDA (Portugal) worked closely with all the other partners: Universidade Católica Portuguesa (Portugal), Autismo Burgos (Spain), Mars Autistákért Alapitvány (Hungary), Intermediakt (Greece) and Autism-Europe (Belgium).
Autism-Europe took lead on dissemination and for the forth international multiplier event, which was held in Brussels in 2021.
About the Erasmus+ Programme
Erasmus+ is the EU’s programme to support education, training, youth and sport in Europe. Its budget of €14.7 billion will provide opportunities for over 4 million Europeans to study, train, gain experience, and volunteer abroad.