PFDA-Vocational Training Center (PFDA-VTC) es una organización de bienestar social con sede en Dhaka, que desarrolla habilidades y promueve oportunidades de empleo para adultos con discapacidades intelectuales, incluyendo el autismo, el síndrome de Down y la parálisis cerebral. Ofrece programas personalizados de formación profesional, que van desde las habilidades básicas para la vida hasta la formación en un oficio específico, en función de la capacidad individual. De 2014 a 2019, PFDA-VTC ha formado a más de 450 personas, de las cuales más de 300 han conseguido un empleo.
There is a lack of specialised vocational services in Bangladesh to support people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Every student at PFDA-VTC receives an ‘Individual Target Plan’ with specified vocational training outcomes based on their industry interests, support needs, and stage of learning. Progress is monitored quarterly and tracked via VTC’s Curriculum Unit Measurement Operating software (CUMO). Alongside vocational training, therapeutic interventions and training for families and carers are also offered.
When a student is ready, PFDA-VTC matches them to an employer in a process involving the student, employers, family members, and educators. Once agreed, the employer signs a memorandum of understanding setting out the employment conditions, salary, benefits, and workplace adaptations.
VTC staff support the student when starting their role, reducing support as the student becomes increasingly comfortable. Trained students may also enter self-employment or sheltered employment on completion of the programme.
About a third of PFDA´s funding comes from student fees (with subsidies for students in financial hardship). Other funding comes from corporate donations, grants, and the sale of handicraft products.
Supported 217 people into full time employment, 21 into self-employment, and 96 into sheltered employment.
Organized 500+ awareness campaigns (policy dialogue, street campaign, round table conference, drama, concert, newspaper article etc)
Established 9 bakery kiosks in markets operated by PwNDDs
Trained 1500 parents for care of PwNDDs
Facilitated formulation of National NDD Protection Act
PFDA-VTC plans to replicate this model in seven cities in Bangladesh to support persons with disabilities in rural areas, with donor support. The use of technology is also being explored, for example, online training modules during COVID-19 and incorporating machine learning or other technology to support individuals who have communication difficulties.