The law that recognises deafblindness as a unique disability has meant a lot to the deafblind people in Colombia. The law also guarantees equal opportunities for the Deaf and the deafblind regarding communication, access to information, accompaniment by interpreters and guides, education, health and employment.
We have already seen the first results of the law when it comes to approving guide-interpreters at meetings with the government and other institutions and companies of importance, making it possible for more people to attend such meetings. The access to guide-interpreters also improves the situation for people already enrolled in schools and it opens the door for those who wish to enrol. Campaigns with the objective of incorporating deafblind in the labour market are launched in health centres, hospitals, and companies.
SURCOE is conducting a project in which a profile of the rehabilitated deafblind person is produced. Then several companies are visited and asked if they can offer the individual a place, which can be seen as part of the companys societal responsibility and they get a tax-reduction for doing it. In the first place, there is awareness raising for the employer and then necessary adaptations of the work place are made lighting, ventilation, non-slippery floor, the size of the chair in relation to the table and computer, screen reading programmes for magnifying the screen, Jaws or a Braille display everything according to the needs of each individual. Five persons are already working and are being evaluated for 6-8 months. Up to date, there has been positive response from both parties and there are still people who want to be on the programme. In the future, other disabilities may be included, in order to make the programme sustainable.