Home | Contacts
 In English 

/ News / Project „Learning Lab for Integration” expierance exchange visit results

Project „Learning Lab for Integration” expierance exchange visit results

December 16, 2008

Participants of the project "Learning Laboratory for integration” agreed that the most important benefit of this project is a new network of contacts between organizations and institutions dealing with people with disabilities integration into society and at work. In December ended the first phase of the project – exchange visits of all three member states - Latvia, Spain and Great Britain. The experience exchange visits aimed to acquaint themselves with the best examples of how each country is dealing with the integration of people with learning difficulties into society at different levels and different types of physical disability.

During their visit in Spain, Catalonia, working group visited a variety of institutions and organizations for people intellectual development. Those institutions and organizations are gathered by Sant Tomas Center, which is modeled as a private foundation, but also receives a large share of funding from the government. Sant Tomas is offering a full cycle of assistance to people with mental and intellectual disabilities ranging from diagnosis at an early stage and ending with discretionary life opportunities. Working group seemed particularly liked - Farm and yogurt plant La Fageda already operating for 10 years. At Fageda people with learning difficulties are given equal opportunities to participate in various activities, ranging from 500 cows daily care, feeding, cleaning and finishing with a natural yoghurt production and packaging. Ranch is open for public, regularly visited by students, has created a special self-made souvenir shop, and it all gives every person with learning difficulties the sense of belonging and a sense that their work is useful. They all receive salary for the work, the opportunity to learn a new job, as well as communications with different people.

 Visiting United Kingdom, Cornwall, participants came to conclusion that here has been created highly developed system for people with physical disabilities integration into society, which, like in Spain, is largely financed by the municipal and national budgets. However, unlike the Spanish experience, while there in England are also very large charities and various private funds of financing. It will be a good experience for Latvia, which could take over. Of course there are some centers where people with disabilities have to cover part of their expenditure themselves - the price of dinner, transportation costs, but this amount is relatively small.

Project participants visited several institutions and organizations in England, but the biggest impression left two: ECHO Center and Remploy (www.remploy.co.uk ) ECHO Center is designed for adults with physical disabilities facilitating their integration into society by providing motivation and support to this process. The Center has been working for 15 years. Work takes place both in groups and individually, setting deadlines and helping people define their personal goals over a specified period. Weekly timetable is divided so that each day held special sessions to one of the groups - young people, retired people with disabilities, those looking for work and the like. The Center organizes various kinds of social life activities - hiking, balls. ECHO center's staff is working by principle Expert patient, meaning that people with disabilities are educated and informed regarding their human rights, guaranteed options, what to require from a doctor, what to expect from a social worker, and what gives better opportunities for their living in society. Center staff recognizes that in Britain sometimes there is necessary to reduce the level of comfort that is provided to people with physical disabilities to facilitate their willingness to participate into social life, rather than rely on the services provided by different support centers.

 The integration into labour market is supported by the other organization named Remploy, which has created an extensive network in Great Britain, which is working across the country on common principles and systems. The integration process is divided in 3 stages. The first is a 12-week motivation course in basic knowledge - how to write a CV, how to dress for a job interview, how to communicate and fit in collective. Examination - interview like in real life. This is followed by recruitment process, every person with a disability is provided with their own consultant who assists the search for work process - thinks of what kind of work person would like to do and finds an appropriate announcement. The third stage, when the work has already been found, the consultant continues to monitor person at work, which means that the consultant regularly speaks to both employers and the employees, weather one or the other is feeling well, acquired skills and satisfied with one another. This is important in order to avoid confusion and to motivate people with disabilities continue to work. In 2007, the Center has helped to recruit 7 thousand people with disabilities, but believes that its goal is to reach 20 thousand. The Center's activities are fully funded from the state budget, but at the same time are attached to the additional financing.

 For more information - people with disabilities, entrepreneurs and professionals who day to day work with people with disabilities can get more information on the webpage www.futureforyou.eu. This page has been specially designed for people with various physical disabilities, providing both a variety of font sizes, contrast text versions and understandable explanations.


Atpakaļ ...

A   A   A    
High contrast version


This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This communication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.