Social inclusion

Virtual reality for a decent job “Virtual DS”

VIRTUAL DS,will promote,through an integrating and innovative approach,the inclusion of Down syndrome people in ordinary work environment,using Virtual Reality experience as support in their training


Who is behind this?

Maria Garrido

Fundación Asindown



Idea pitch

VS VIRTUAL is a training programme that uses Supported Employment methodology and VR technology to promote the employability of people with Down syndrome and intellectual disability.
They will be trained in specific jobs such as Cashier's Assistant, Replacement Assistant, Sales Assistant and Waiter's Assistant.
The objective is to alleviate the effects of unemployment in our collective after COVID19 with the help of virtual reality. (SDG4, SDG10 and SDG8)

Where will your project idea take place?

We work and the project is intended to be developed in the region of Valencia in eastern Spain

What is the specific societal challenge faced by this region?

COVID19:we find an increase in the estimated unemployment rate of up to 21% in Spain. Many families will see their economic income reduced because all the members of the family unit are unemployed.
If we add to this living in a semi-rural environment, being a person with Down syndrome or intellectual disability and being a member of a family with scarce economic resources; the possibility of finding a job becomes minimal for this group.
Valencia:266 municipalities of which only 30 have more than 20,000 inhabitants. Therefore, Down syndrome or intellectual disabilities' people living in a small municipality is going to have a lot of problems finding a job after COVID19.
SDG8 will be a priority to work for ASINDOWN using virtual reality and with the objective that "nobody is left behind".

Who are you doing it for?

Currently, there is no data or statistics on the number or specific location of people with intellectual disabilities of working age in the province of Valencia. This project will help to give visibility to this reality.

Asindown considers:
Direct beneficiaries: People with Down's Syndrome or Intellectual Disability (asperger's, autism, developmental delay) of working age and with difficulties in accessing a job. (about 75 people). Consider family nuclei in which at least one of the components has lost their job due to COVID19.

Indirect beneficiaries: the families, who will see their economic income increase thanks to the work of the person with a disability, the companies they hire, the municipality, the collaborating entities. (about 300 people).

How do you plan to get there?

The project consists of four phases:
PHASE1: Contact, diagnosis and selection of people with Down Syndrome and intellectual disability to participate in the project.
PHASE2: Users and companies will be assisted:
Users: Programming and implementation of the training plan that combines Virtual Reality with face-to-face training. Diagnosis of users' vocational preferences as well as their skills and strengths.
Companies: Start up of the labour prospecting that aims to get jobs for the project's user group.
PHASE3: Employment with support in the company itself once the people participating in the project have been hired and accompaniment with a mobile aplication of their progress, adaptation and correct socio-labour insertion in the company.
PHASE4: Evaluation and systematization

What are the expected results?

The main objective of DS Virtual is to facilitate access to decent and standardized work for people with Down syndrome and intellectual disabilities living outside an urban area. It is especially aimed at families with limited resources who, because of the COVID19, are in a difficult economic situation.

Virtual reality will be an innovative tool for our collective in the fight against unemployment.
Expected successes:
-new job insertions SDG8
-personal and professional growth of participants at all levels SDG4
-collective participation and technological innovation in favour of a social need
-breaking down beliefs and disability-specific barriers SDG10
-participation of the business community and public administration for the continuity of the project SDG17

How does your idea strengthen active citizenship at a local and community level?

According to the United Nations, one of the targets of the sustainable development goal, SDG 8 is:
"8.5 By 2030, achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all women and men, including young people and people with disabilities, and equal pay for work of equal value.”
This will be achieved by promoting technological modernisation and innovation.

The ILO (International Labour Organization) has also a longstanding commitment to promoting social justice and achieving decent work for people with disabilities.

The Asindown Foundation, through the VIRTUAL DS, promotes these actions while fostering citizen engagement and participation through the supported employment methodology.

It responds to the needs raised by two large organizations

Why is this idea important to you?

After COVID19, there is a social need that Asindown must address because no one else will focus on unemployment among people with Down syndrome and intellectual disability.
How are we going to do it? Through Social Innovation. By setting up a validated project with disabled users from 5 different countries over 2 years.
The mission of the project is to reduce the unemployment rate in our group through specific training in different jobs and with the support of virtual reality and supported employment.
There are families with children with Down syndrome and intellectual disabilities who are going to have real economic problems and their children should not be a burden. Asindown wants them to be a great help by introducing financial income into the family.

€ 53400,-

Total budget

€ 50000,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

Major expenses

- Human Resources: 32.400
- Technological support: 12.000
- Displacement: 3.000
- Advertising: 2.000
- Business events: 1.500
- Office expenses: 1.000
- Unforeseen expenses: 1.500

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

At Asindown we have detected a real need for help "the post-covid19 unemployment of people with Down's Syndrome and intellectual disability". Now we must act.
Any suggestions, constructive criticism or comments are welcome! THANK YOU


Fundación Asindown


Idea created on May 26, 2020

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