I am Independent Because I Work

Project Summary
Grantee : Down Syndrome Association
Purpose : Employing youth with Down syndrome in private sector and scaling up the model
Location : Turkey
Grant Amount : 186.685 TL
Project Partner : Associazione Italiana Persone Down Onlus
Period : 13 July 2015 – 15 July 2016
Status : Completed
Project Year : 2015


Almost 80% of persons with disabilities cannot participate in workforce (OZIDA). This rate is much higher for persons with mental disabilities. Employing them in sheltered work places is not enough for social participation. It is necessary to find innovative models for the employment of persons with mental disabilities.

Project Goals

  • Job coaches will be trained to support persons with Down syndrome at work place.
  • Suitable work places will be found and trainings on diversity will be held for employees.
  • Youth with Down syndrome will start working with the support of job coaches.
  • The employment model will be shared and scaled up with various communication activities.

Project Results

  • 10 persons with disabilities are employed and 6 more will start working by the end of the year.
  • 405 employees in 12 different companies (in Ankara, Istanbul and Izmir) took trainings on working with persons with Down syndrome. Families of persons with Down syndrome were also informed on how to communicate with their children.
  • To show the situation of persons with Down syndrome in work life, a research and a legal review were conducted by Anadolu University. All data was gathered in a report.
  • The job coaching model of different countries were investigated and the reference book was translated as a source for interested parties.
  • Workshops were organized to introduce the job coaching model to the representatives of private sector, civil society and public institutions.


"I recommend everyone to have a job. It eases your stress. I have a problem and staying at home because of this was quite boring. Now my life has changed. I was playing with my computer all day. Not anymore, because I have a job and I like working a lot."

Project Beneficiary

"He likes working and wants to learn more. He goes out with his friends and orders stuff. He is happy that he comes to work and gets prepared by himself. He is cautious about not being late. He even reminds me not to be late. He says 'I am not a kid anymore'. He gives a scholarship to a university student.

Project Beneficiary


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