History and development

The institution for professional rehabilitation and employment of persons with disabilities is the legal successor of the oldest protective workshop in Croatia called "Ivančica", founded back in 1946. The workshop is still part of the institution and has significantly contributed to the development of protective employment.

URIHO is also the legal successor of the former business system called DIOZ, which was created in 1978. by merging the independent protection workshops: DES for the deaf and hard of hearing, Ivančica for the chronically ill, OSVIT for the disabled and ZIRI for physically disabled and people prone to antisocial behavior. Based on the agreement on transformation and merger of 10 companies, in 1996 the company changed its name to URIHO, an institution for the rehabilitation of disabled people through professional rehabilitation and employment, and its founders were the City of Zagreb and the Croatian Association of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.

URIHO's activities include professional rehabilitation and employment for persons with disabilities and are important for the whole society. Today, the institution employs slightly more than 500 employees, of which about 60% are people with disabilities. Protective employment takes place within the economic branches for textiles, ceramics, metal, leather, sewing, orthopedics, cardboarding and printing.

URIHO is the first protective workshop in the Republic of Croatia wich have an ISO standard. The certificate for the quality management system EN ISO 9001: 2008 confirms the compliance of URIHO with the strict world standards of quality business organization. This certificate defines the quality management system, employer responsibility, resource management, product realization, measurement and analysis. For customers of URIHO's products and services, and for its employees, the introduction of ISO standards means continuous improvement of quality of work, innovation and flexibility.

In April 2009., the institution opened the doors of the first Work center in Croatia, which is a new form of work with people with disabilities. The main role of the Work center is to prepare people with disabilities for the working world , while the beneficiaries are people with disabilities who have a certain level of professional qualification, but for certain reasons, most often long-term unemployment, are not able to directly engage in the world of work. The work center has so far trained 217 users.

The virtual workshop started in 2011, and here long-term unemployed people with disabilities are trained to work in administrative, commercial and financial accounting occupations through the standards of professional rehabilitation. So far, 125 beneficiaries have passed through the project financed from the EU IPA pre-accession funds.

The project of the institution, which refers to the training for the work of cleaners and assistant cooks, started in 2019. with the working name "Let's sweep the past, let's cook the future". It is financed by the European Social Fund, and so far 55 beneficiaries have been trained for these occupations.

The latest EU project, launched in 2020. entitled "Inclusive Education: Ensuring Access to Non-Vocational Education" was best rated by evaluators. The project is based on the collaboration of three profiles of experts from seven European countries, and URIHO is the coordinator. The estimated duration is 32 months, from November 1., 2020. to June 30., 2023.