The COOCOU-Project


Although people with disabilities have a right to employment, related counselling programs, participating in education and lifelong learning according to the UN Disability Rights Convention, people with cognitive impairments still face barriers regarding their participation in educational programs and in the labour market.
One of these barriers is that qualifications provided in formal educational settings (schools etc.) mostly build on cognitive work and therefore sometimes are difficult to acquire for people with cognitive impairments.
Hence it is essential to make their skills and competences visible which are often acquired by activities at home, in their free time, with their family and friends or by every day learning, especially as some of these competences are both desired and required on the labour market. By showing them what they are capable of they gain self-confidence and therefore battle the common problem of anxiety or depression over their work performance.

Ideas & Outcomes

Against this background, COOCOU aims to support the social and economic inclusion of people with cognitive impairments by

  • helping them to discover their own competences,
  • boosting their self-confidence,
  • supporting their empowerment and
  • supporting them to find a job or educational measure that suits their competence profile and interests.

To achieve these goals the COOCOU-project is supporting professional counsellors, who work with cognitively impaired people, by providing a well fitted practical counselling toolkit. The toolkit compiles different tools for competence assessment and training methods which are suitable for people with cognitive impairments and support them to find out about and receive a documentation of their competences which in the long term will help them finding a suitable employment or training.

A key component of the toolkit is a barrier-free ProfilPASS, which will be developed during the project by adapting the existing ProfilPASS to the specific needs of people with cognitive impairments.

In addition to the COOCOU-toolkit a curriculum and manual will be developed which form the foundation for a specific training of counsellors. Overall, 30 counsellors (5 in each partner country) will be trained for applying the toolkit materials.

A testing phase will be conducted starting January 2021. In this phase 60 people with cognitive impairments will profit from a counselling with the COOCOU-Toolkit.

Both the training and the testing phase will be evaluated and the results will be used for revising the materials.