What we stand for

  • Access to Work Europe, Meeting in Girona in November 2019 © Access to Work Europe
  • Access to Work Europe Infographics © Irene Persche

„We promote the recognition of the value of work for people with disabilities and their right to work in compliance with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).“

As long as the open labour market does not offer working opportunities for people even with high support needs, the services of sheltered workshops are an important part of an inclusive labour market.

Access to Work Europe stands for

  • the provision of person-centred services
  • the support of self-representation of people with disabilities in working life decisions
  • the promotion of personality development and lifelong learning of people with disabilities
  • the provision of individual and person-centred vocational qualification for people with disabilities
  • the support and promotion of independent living of people with disabilities and their inclusion in the community
  • qualification and support for people with disabilities for the transition onto the open labour market.

Our goals


  • We want European society to recognise sheltered workshops as not only a place, but as providers of person-centred services.
  • These services differ in their characteristics from country to country but share one important value: The provision of the opportunity for people with disabilities to participate in working life.
  • The services of sheltered workshops have been further developed and are constantly evolving to even better meet the requirements of the implementation of the UNCRPD and ongoing societal, technological and economical changes.
  • Sheltered workshops are far from sheltering, in fact, this term is no longer used for the services in Austria, Germany, France, Poland, Norway, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. We want the services of sheltered workshops to be one of many services and measures for people with disabilities which are working seamlessly hand in hand to create a permeable system within an inclusive labour market.
  • People with disabilities and the services of sheltered workshops need to be recognized in public and politics. So that they won’t be forgotten or left behind in times of crisis - as it had happened during the Corona crisis.


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