Search form



Inclusive Labour Market - employment of the deaf


The issues addressed at the workshop „Employment and the Freedom of Movement” served as a basis for further discussion that was held on 15 May at the seminar “Inclusive Labour Market”.

At the seminar, Minister of Welfare Uldis Augulis and a member of the Saeima and the Chair of the Employment and Social Affairs Committee Aija Barča familiarised the participants with the employment policy for people with disabilities in Latvia, current challenges and the planned solutions to them. U.Augulis emphasised that in tackling the employment problems of people with disabilities, at present, focus is placed on the identification of abilities of people rather than on stressing their functional disabilities. As noted by A.Barča, it is important to view the problem in a complex way – better availability of education, investment in education, sign language interpreter services, tax reliefs for employers, etc. – when tackling the employment problems of people with hearing disability.

The members of the European Parliament and the Co-Presidents of the Disability Intergroup, Ádám Kósa and Helga Stevens, emphasised at the seminar that hearing disability is not as well seen as other kinds of disability; therefore, the society is not even aware that some people need assistance. Achieving a world without barriers by using modern technologies and sign language interpreter services available daily and by tackling employment problems is a challenge of the society for the future in all countries.

The policy assistant of the Unit of Rights of Persons with Disabilities, DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion of the European Commission, emphasised that the employment of people with disabilities is an important issue in European policies, especially taking into consideration the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Gunta Anča, the vice-president of the European Disability Forum and the president of the Latvian Umbrella Body for Disability organisations SUSTENTO familiarised the participants with the terms flexicurity and protection of people with disabilities in the labour market. She pointed out that the support solutions offered by responsible institutions had to be differentiated.

The executive director of the European Union of the Deaf Mark Wheatley and the policy officer of the European Union of the Deaf (EUD) Petra Söderqvist presented a publication of the European Union of the Deaf that reported on best practice examples in tackling employment issues in European countries.

The board member of the Latvian Association of the Deaf Ivars Kalniņš analysed the results of a study on employment problems for deaf youths in Latvia, which stated that greater support was necessary in tackling the unemployment of deaf youths to make professional education more available and to provide greater accessibility of sign language interpreter services for acquiring an education. According to the study, youths considered hearing disability and communication problems the most essential barriers to employment.

Intensive discussions were caused by examples of the countries where their regulatory frameworks set quotas on the number of employees in the private sector and in the public sector. While discussing this issue, a number of seminar participants expressed an opinion that a greater focus in employment had to be placed on the knowledge and skills of people with disabilities rather than on quotas because public support for quotas was often weak.

The project “Active for the Future” of the society Latvian Association of the Deaf, agreement identification No 2014.LV/PR/12/11, is implemented in the framework of Latvian State budget funded programme, “Support for Public Participation in Implementing the Latvian Presidency of the Council of the European Union”.

Information prepared by:
Aija Sannikova, project manager
Phone: 25155419
E-mail: [email protected]


To top

Video news


LNS kapitālsabiedrības

LNS biedrību interešu grupas