/2014-01-10/ The Dream of Security comes true for Persons with Disabilities
The employment potential of Armenian people with disabilities (PWDs) has yet to be broadly utilized. However, the number of companies adopting non-discriminatory hiring policies is constantly increasing. Significant progress was initiated by the USAID-funded "(LIFE) Livelihood Improvement through Fostered Employment (2012-2013) for People with Disabilities" Program implemented by Save the Children.

The numerous roundtable discussions, job-fairs, awareness-raising campaigns and other events organized in the framework of the program greatly contributed to the positive shift in the attitude of Armenian employers towards job-seekers with disabilities. In 2013 a new company - Security Dream LTD expressed willingness to recruit employees with disabilities. The first round of negotiations took place during November 2012 with LIFE implementing partner Unison NGO. Unison received the necessary information on the vacant positions available at the company and the skills requirements of the employer. The company monitors road traffic in Armenia and, therefore, the primary requirement is the candidates’ excellent knowledge of road traffic rules and regulations as measured by a special examination test. Already during the internship (probation period), PWDs stated that, being employed at Security Dream, they’ve not only gained financial earnings but also a warm and friendly working environment. The collaboration with “Security Dream” is still in progress and, hopefully, the company’s positive case will set an example for many employers and inspire more companies to open their doors for employees with diverse abilities, thus benefiting both PWDs and Armenia in general.

/2014-01-23/ Monitoring of Accessibility of the Streets and Polyclinics of Yerevan
In December 2013, with support from the Open Society Foundations - Armenia, Unison held a monitoring of physical accessibility of the active streets and all polyclinics in Yerevan for wheelchair users and other persons with limited mobility. The outcomes were presented to the Yerevan Municipality. Significant part of the suggestions has been already included in the 2014 plan. 175 or more curb ramps will be constructed this year in different locations of Yerevan.

/2013-12-25/ Music video of Paros featuring Davit Karapetyan
Music video of Paros Chamber Choir featuring Davit Karapetyan, Principal Dancer of San Francisco Ballet. Director: Vahe Khachatryan. Conductor: Raffi Mikaelian. Produced by Unison, NGO with support from Paros Foundation. Click HERE to watch the video! 


/2013-12-13/ Job-fair for job-seekers with disabilities
On December 12th a long-awaited event for job-seekers with disabilities took place in Congress Hotel. Unison NGO, in partnership with the State Employment Service Agency of Armenia, organized a job-fair for this social group. It was the second event of this sort organized in the framework of the LIFE program funded by USAID and implemented by Save the Children (the first one had taken place in December 2012).
Job-seekers with disabilities, who often face skepticism towards their abilities among employers, after attending the job-fair, realized that a considerable number of companies in Armenia view persons with disabilities as equal members of the society and a promising workforce. Represented at the fair were both major companies and small to medium-sized enterprises looking for a wide range of specialists: accountants, designers, secretaries, jewelers, and even filmmakers.
The opportunity to take part in the job-fair was eagerly embraced by the organizations that had received small grants in the framework of the LIFE Small Grants program. These companies are to create vacancies and adjusting workplaces for 10-12 persons with disabilities, as well as to build their own technical capacities. Both job-seekers and employers came to the job-fair with big expectations and, for some persons with disabilities, being hired will become the best Christmas gift.

Job Fair

/2013-08-28/ Kargin PSA with Hayko Mko
Unison NGO and Kargin TV are proud to present the new PSA "I am able to work. Justice is in your hands". Screenwriter and Producer: Hayk Marutyan, Director: Arman Marutyan, leading roles played by: Hayk Marutyan and Mkrtich Arzumanyan (Hayko Mko). The PSA was produced in the framework of USAID-funded "Livelihood Improvement through Fostered Employment (LIFE) for People with Disabilities" Program implemented by Save the Children and partner NGOs. Special thanks to Hayk Marutyan and Mkrtich Arzumanyan for starring in the video on a free-of-charge basis. The video is available at Unison NGO Youtube official channel.

Hayko Mko

/2013-01-24/ Achievements of the LIFE Program Presented
On December 3, 2012, Minister of Labor and Social Issues of Armenia Artem Asatryan and USAID Armenia Mission Director Karen Hilliard joined Save the Children Armenia and Unison NGO at a press conference and photo exhibition in Yerevan, dedicated to the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. The event was organized within the framework of “We All Have the Right to Work” campaign launched as part of the USAID-funded "Livelihood Improvement through Fostered Employment (LIFE) for People with Disabilities" Program.
The public outreach campaign was implemented throughout Armenia in November-December 2012 with the aim of promoting the right to equal work opportunities for people with disabilities (PWDs). Public outreach activities, roundtable discussions, job fairs, exhibitions, marz coordination council meetings, and press conferences were organized with active involvement of major stakeholders, including state authorities, employers, civil society organizations, media, and PWDs.
The press conference on December 3 presented the activities of the campaign, as well as the achievements of the LIFE program in 2012. The photo exhibition then wrapped up the campaign, presenting the working and creative potential of PWDs.