Protection of persons with disabilities, creating conditions for their training and employment is the obligation of every civilized society. Awareness of the constantly increasing disabled population, regardless whether they are disabled workers, disabled children or war veterans, represents a social, health-related, economic, in one word - a global problem of community.
The degree of civilization of a society can be measured in different ways; one of them is the attitude of the community towards persons with disabilities. This attitude does not imply pity, but understanding what the foundation for achieving the ultimate goal is - that is, the integration of persons with disabilities into a family, working environment and a decent social life. It is a complex process that is accomplished via professional rehabilitation and employment at adequate working places. The employment institute must be the end of a continuous process of training and only then does it represent the consistent implementation of social policy.
The Institution for Rehabilitation of Disabled Persons by Professional Rehabilitation and Employment, abbreviated to URIHO, has been in business under this name since 1996. The institution is the legal successor of the oldest sheltered workshop in Croatia which operated under the name "Ivančica" and was founded in Zagreb in 1946. URIHO’s activity relating to professional rehabilitation and employment of persons with disabilities is of universal importance to the society as a whole. Sheltered employment is accomplished within the framework of commercial programs for textiles, ceramics, metal, leather, millinery, orthopaedics, cardboard production and printing. Out of the total number of employees in URIHO, 51% are persons with disabilities of various categories and profiles.
In April 2009 the institution of URIHO "opened" a Work Centre, the first one in Croatia, which represents a new form of work with disabled population. The main role of the Work Centre is to prepare people with disabilities for the working environment. Customers of the Work Centre are people with disabilities who have a certain level of qualification, but for some reason, one of the most common being a long-term unemployment, are not able to get directly involved in the working world.
It should be noted that URIHO is the first sheltered workshop in the Republic of Croatia which has an ISO standard. The Certificate for Quality Management System EN ISO 9001:2000 obtained for the business activity of "Designing and manufacturing of clothing and lines" confirms that URIHO is compliant with the strict international standards of high-quality business organization. This certificate defines the quality management system, employer's responsibility, resource management, product realization, measurements and analyses. For buyers of URIHO’s products and services, and for its employees, the introduction of ISO standard means a continuous improvement of the quality of work, innovation, flexibility and satisfaction.