The New Horizons Final Conference

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The New Horizons Final Conference „Challenges, Opportunities, New Horizons” took place on 26th of June 2018 in Sofia and brought together representatives from patient organisations, government, NGO sector and employers‘ organisations. Their common goal was to make a step further to a better understanding of the problems and barriers that people with acquired disabilities face, and also to draw potential opportunities for their labour market and society integration.

The conference was opened by the project coordinator Anelia Dimitrova, CATRO Bulgaria that introduced the audience to the main goals and achievements in the frame of the New Horizons project and then gave the floor to the experts who have applied in practice the holistic counseling approach of New Horizons. Career consultants, psychologist and social workers from United Kingdom, Bulgaria, Cyprus and Greece shared their experience with the model and presented the successful stories of their clients who managed to overcome severe through physical and mental problems in their life.

The most important highlight of the conference was the organised panel discussion with Elka Todorova, chairperson of the National Federation of Employers of Disabled People; Desislava Atanasova, member of the National parliament and chairperson of the Committee of Legal Affairs; Evgeniya Adarska, chairperson of the Association of patients with oncological diseases; and Vanya Pandieva, psychologist and person with disability. During the discussion were raised important questions about the reintegration of people with disabilities in the labour market and in the society as a whole, and key action were drawn in order to build better opportunities and environment of the New Horizons’ target group. The main conclusion made was that in order to tackle the challenges all stakeholders (government, NGOs, patient organisations, etc.) have to be involved in the process and to be open to listen to and understand the needs and the interests of each other. The New Horizons final conference was one of the events that made the first step to get together all stakeholders and form a team that will build new horizons for people with acquired disabilities.

The conference was closed by the motivational video of one of the Empowering examples of the New Horizons heroes who has been fully paralysed but now he is on the way to get his first job after a 2 years rehabilitation and re-qualification. You can read about Jordan’s motivational story in the Career Kit Empower Yourself or on the project YouTube channel:

The New Horizons’ trainers’ team

The New Horizons’ trainers’ team is formed and ready to spread our unique career counselling approach for people with disabilities in 7 European countries

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In the first week of October, participants came from across 7 countries in the Vienna’s unique atmosphere of baroque streetscapes and imperial palaces in order to take part in a 5-day training for trainers and career counselors. Experts with different professional backgrounds including education, psychology and career guidance have been trained on the freshly elaborated New Horizons training programme for psychological and career counselling.

The whole training programme is based on the holistic New Horizons counselling approach, which first aims at understanding the context and individual needs of the client, and lead him/her through a self-discovering journey, which will boost their self-awareness, self-confidence, and their motivation and engagement to pro-actively look out and find new opportunities. As useful part of this journey the trainers have prepared diverse materials in topics like labour market specifics and search strategies, effective communication, emotional intelligence and social entrepreneurship.

The trainers and counsellors themselves have the unique opportunity to assess their own professional and personal development during the career counselling process, using the innovative competence validation model LEVEL5.

After the positive and constructive feedback of the participants in the train-the-trainer TTT workshop in Vienna, next step will be to make the whole training programme for career counselling available in all partner languages in order to spread it out during the national TTTs end of 2017 and beginning of 2018. All training and counselling materials will be available on a specially created online social platform, available on the New Horizons’ website.

If you are inspired and ready to join us in this learning and counselling journey together with long-term unemployed people with disabilities, stay tuned on Facebook or on this page in order to learn more about the upcoming National train-the-trainer seminars in the 7 European countries.

Partner Meeting in Granada

Partner Meeting in Granada, Spain – May 2017

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After the successful Kick-off meeting held in Greece, the power team of New Horizons got together once again for a productive project meeting during the spring festival season in Granada, Spain. Thanks to our excellent hosts DEFOIN the project consortium managed to progress in one of the most important parts of the New Horizons project – the development of the Training curriculum and modules for counsellors working with people with acquired disabilities.

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Are our European countries doing enough to fully integrate people with disabilities into labour market and society?

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Before starting with the elaboration and adaptation of the counselling programme for long-term unemployed people with disabilities, the partners in the New Horizons project decided to conduct focused desk practice research exploring the needs and the obstacles of the target groups in terms of integration into the labour market.

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