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Work life, new technology and employment of disabled people: A twenty year programme
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE).
2012 (English)In: Technology and Disability, ISSN 1055-4181, Vol. 24, no 3, 211-218 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A development programme was carried out by the Swedish government and the Swedish Labour Market Board (AF) over a period of more than twenty years. The paper describes a case history of a single national programme. Some significant conclusions from it are given. The rationale for the effort was the advent of micro-computers in the early 1980s and the ICT development in general. It was realised that people with disabilities would struggle in the job market if active measures were not taken. Within the AF expertise on different impairments and functional disorder was employed, often highly-skilled with many years of experience of helping people with workplace adaptations. In five years some 4000 jobs for disabled jobseekers were established by applying public procurement, partly on a pre-competitive basis. After these first five years the programme was regularised but still only as a development tool for another fifteen years, with a yearly budget of 0,5-1,0 M\psfig{figure=eur.eps,width=1.9mm}. The ICT technology offered successively a range of generative options, often pre-empting application to solutions beneficial for people having a variety of functional difficulties in their jobs. The projects were intended to include a potential to result in products or services on the open market. If new technology could be transferred into regular business, it would benefit the chief target groups and their procurers in the long run. One success case was Comfort Audio AB. The company was started in 1994 by two young entrepreneurs. Fifteen years later it employs some 60 people and finds its market all over the world with its cutting edge technology for hearing impaired persons.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 24, no 3, 211-218 p.
Keyword [en]
Assistive technology, pre-commercial, pre-competitive, procurement, technical development, technical procurement, technology transfer, work, work life
National Category
Other Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-105289DOI: 10.3233/TAD-2012-0353ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84866856516OAI: diva2:570610

QC 20121120

Available from: 2012-11-20 Created: 2012-11-20 Last updated: 2012-11-20Bibliographically approved

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