Vamlas promotes diversity and inclusion of young people with disabilities in schools, studies, hobbies and working life. We have been working for equal opportunities since 1889.
We are experts in the employment, services and education of children and youth with disabilities. We run development projects, support research and are active in various networks promoting rehabilitation, education and employment. Vamlas also provides inclusive housing services for students with disabilities in a regular student house, total of 20 apartments.
Our objective is to make sure children and youth with disabilities and their families have equality of opportunities. Through our partners we collect information of the main challenges people with disabilities are facing in the society, and use it to influence policy makers and other key players.
We want children and youth with disabilities to have same rights as everyone else:
Youth and Working Life -project aims to advance equality and diversity in the labour market via concrete and long-term actions. The purpose of this project is to conduct high-quality cooperation with our partners, to present good practices, raise awareness of different systemic challenges and provide a platform for young people to talk about their personal experiences in working life. In the autumn 2019 our operation was focused mainly in the metropolitan area and Northern Finland, but the project aims to be nationwide.
The “Young Influencers” project was launched in the autumn 2018 to provide a platform for young people to raise awareness of discriminatory social structures faced by the marginalised youth and do direct influencing work to deconstruct those structures. Young Influencers are a group of socially active young people between 18 and 29 years old, living with different disabilities, chronic illnesses and/or on the autistic spectrum. Everyone between 18-29 years old who identifies as disabled, chronically ill and/or being on the autistic spectrum is welcome to join anytime.
The direct influence work done by Young Influencers includes arranging educational school workshops, educating staff in other youth organisations, visiting the Non-Discrimination Ombudsman and the Ombudsman for Equality, speaking at different panels and university seminars on the topics of social discrimination and equal rights, cooperating with other youth and disability organisations, and writing blogs and other commentaries on Vamlas’ social media, particularly Vamlas’ Instagram.
In March 2020 Vamlas arranged a campaign titled “Corona Competition” where we invited young people with disabilities, chronic illnesses and/or on the autistic spectrum to tell about their everyday life during the Corona spring. The style of storytelling was up to the person, and we received an extremely diverse set of artwork and pieces of writing: essays, poems, comics, photo collages, videos and even a delightful bingo game. The campaign was a huge success in terms of collecting data from a marginalised group of young people whose voices are often forgotten and who were now able to tell their own stories during an exceptional time in history. The stories were published anonymously on the Vamlas website during the summer and autumn 2020 and they were also shared on Vamlas’ Instagram account.
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