“ERGO WORK – Joining academia and business for new opportunities in creating ERGOnomic WORK places” is a European project conducted under the Lifelong Learning Programme (Erasmus), seeking to improve the ergonomic design of jobs and workplaces for people with disabilities. It promotes Knowledge, Skills and “Social Cohesion” in order to create Reasonable Accommodation at work for all employees, including Persons with Disabilities (PWD).

 

“Social Cohesion” is one of the main 7 Objectives of the Europe 2020 Strategy. The labour market can significantly benefit from greater inclusion of people with disabilities. The multidisciplinary field of Ergonomics can help and support inclusion through improved design and adaptation of workplace to cater for diverse needs.

 

Currently the teaching of Ergonomics and approaches to the inclusion of persons with disabilities lack strong cooperation and knowledge exchange between students, academia, schools, Vocational Educational Training system and Business. There is potential for stronger collaboration and more effective education in Ergonomics replicated to the employment of people with disabilities.

 

The ERGO WORK project addresses the following 3 main pillars:

  • HEI-B cooperation (“Knowledge Triangle”),
  • Improvement of learning and teaching methods and contents within Ergonomics for more competent, skilled students in the field (“New Skills for New Jobs”),
  • Equal employment opportunities, universal design and quality working environment for all employees, including persons with disabilities (“Social Cohesion”).

 

Main target groups of the project are:

  • Students,
  • Academia,
  • Persons with disabilities (PWD),
  • Businesses/Companies/Employers.

 

The reasons for undertaking this project are:

  • Lack of HEI-B cooperation in Ergonomics in general and specifically for persons with disabilities;
  • Lack of specific contents, modules and approaches in addressing equal opportunities work place design for persons with disabilities in most Curricula Ergonomics + Lack of experts with specific knowledge in Ergonomics for persons with disabilities;
  • Lack of equal opportunities for persons with disabilities due to a.) lack of ergonomic work places responding to PWD special needs, b.) lack of awareness amongst employers about the potential work efficiency of persons with disabilities with adapted ergonomic work places.

 

The long-term objective of the project, aligned with the Article 27 of UN Convention on the Rights of PWD, is to set the foundation for a systematic sustainable cooperation between Academia and Business and all other relevant stakeholders in Ergonomics for persons with disabilities in order to foster Reasonable Accommodation at work.

 

Partnership: - 10 partners with 45 experts from 6 EU countries (Slovenia, Poland, United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Belgium)

 

Project duration: - 24 months (1st October 2013 – 30th September 2015)