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European Social Fund Plus

Digital solutions enable inclusion in the workplace

Digital solutions enable inclusion in the workplace
(c) Satakunta University of Applied Sciences

For people with neuropsychiatric disorders, such as autism, or cognitive deficit disorder, accessing and retaining employment can present serious challenges. The stigma surrounding such conditions may decrease the chance of getting hired, and without support, those in work are at higher risk of underperforming.

With funding from the European Social Fund (ESF) and led by the Satakunta University of Applied Sciences, the Finnish DigiNepsy project is helping people with these conditions to find and keep a job. The project applies digital techniques and tools to improve individuals’ functional capability to succeed in employment. The project also works to raise employers’ awareness of these disorders and promotes equality and inclusion in the workplace.

Juha, who has autism, is among 150 people to have benefited from the project, which has helped him to develop resources and strategies to assist in carrying out his daily tasks and succeed in his role.

‘With the help of the DigiNepsy project I have found a relevant and effective means of coping with my disorder,’ he says. ‘DigiNepsy has provided opportunities to try out a variety of new technologies and applications. I have found the ones that work for me.’

The project team uses a variety of innovative digital techniques to improve individuals’ working lives. Providing a pair of noise-cancelling headphones had a positive impact on Juha, who finds sensory processing in busy environments particularly challenging.

Marjo Virnes, Chief Competence Officer of Autism Foundation Finland, highlighted how the project has given her new insights into assistive technologies, and was enthusiastic about their potential benefit for Finnish employees. ‘The project has provided me with knowledge on the newest well-being technologies, as well as insights on the technologies in the social services sector,’ she says. ‘Both our customers and staff have benefited from the project through inspiring new experiences and interaction with technologies.’

Projects like DigiNepsy signal an important step forward in how we understand and improve the working lives of people with neuropsychiatric disorders and demonstrate how technology can help people suffering from these conditions to succeed at work.

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Project details

Project name
DigiNepsy - digital tools to boost workability and functional ability of people with neuropsychiatric symptoms (S21939)
Satakunta University of Applied Sciences
Project start
Project end
Internet and social
Contact details
Krista Toivonen: 
Total budget
EUR 290 580
EU Budget contribution
EUR 203 406