University of Latvia
The Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Latvia, Riga / © University of Latvia / Toms Grīnbergs
Who we are
The University of Latvia (UL) with its 15,000 students, 13 faculties and more than 20 research institutes is one of the largest comprehensive and leading research universities in the Baltic States. The University offers more than 130 state-accredited academic and professional study programmes. At University of Latvia, research is conducted in over 50 research fields which represent four main areas of inquiry: the humanities, natural sciences, social sciences, education sciences, and health sciences.
SEMPRE Project is realised in Advanced Social and Political Research Institute (ASPRI). ASPRI is the research institute of the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Latvia. Since its creation in
2004, the task of ASPRI has been to coordinate interdisciplinary research projects involving the academic staff and graduate students of the four departments in the faculty, which are political science, sociology, information and library sciences, and communication studies.
Project Manager: Dr.phil. Anna Stepčenko
Research Assistant: Mg.soc.sc., student of Doctoral programme in
Sociology Evija Zača
Sociologist: Mg.soc.sc., student of Doctoral programme in Sociology
Project Manager Assistant: Mg.soc.sc. Anete Alksne
Why we are involved in SEMPRE
Our group joint the SEMPRE partnership because we are sure of thought that best ideas and works are created in joint work where different experiences, thoughts and attitudes come together. Exclusion of a single person is a case that is worth to explore. Nevertheless, unfortunately there are significantly big groups of people that are in some way isolated or excluded. One of these groups are people with physical or mental disabilities who witness exclusion in many spheres of everyday life. During this project we will search for possible solutions to develop inclusion of this group of people. And we are looking for possibility not only to research on our own, but also involve in productive and to right objectives leading discussions with professionals from other countries.
What will be the most important result of SEMPRE?
To identify possible tools for daily life improvement for people with physical or mental disabilities.
Whom we are working with
The object of our project is located in West-South of Latvia. Its main centre is the City of Liepaja. Other territories are included are the counties around – Grobiņa, Rucava and Priekule. The end-user group are people with physical and/or mental disabilities. There are already identified some ways of exclusion that are faced by this end-user group:
- Economical exclusion – though officially it is stated that potential employees cannot face any type of discrimination (also because of their disability), disabled people hear even direct refusal that is based on their disability. Because of exclusion from labour market the threat of poverty becomes real and hard to avoid.
- Physical exclusion – there are many places not accessible for people with physical disabilities.
- Social exclusion – the two previously mentioned exclusions support the social exclusion of disabled people. At the same time some cases of grudge and abuse already emerged during our first field work - interviews with disabled people.
This project is developed together with the Diaconal Centre Liepaja. The Municipal social service providers are opened and willing to cooperate, as well as some local NGOs.