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The first international experience exchange visit of the Project “Learning Lab for Integration”

October 5, 2008

 In the framework of the project “Learning Lab for Integration” from 7th until 10th October experience exchange delegation of collaboration partners from Great Britain and Spain jointly with the Latvian partners from organization of people with disabilities and their friends Apeirons and Comperio Ltd will be visiting several education establishments in Riga, Jurmala and Liepaja.

 The purpose of this first visit is to acquaint our British and Spanish colleagues with the examples of the good practice in practice, - education activities and labour market possibilities of people with disabilities in Latvia. Delegation will be visiting Association of Liepajas Blind People, University of Liepaja, Cirava vocational secondary school, State Special Education Center in Riga and in the State Agency of Social Integration in Jurmala. This will be the first experience exchange visit of this project.

 „It is possible that we have not yet gathered all good practice examples in Latvia, that would give a larger inspiration and bravery to each person with disability to start to work or learn a profession, thus, successfully integrating into society and in the social life. Purpose of this meeting is to look at the true situation in each country and to learn something new about each counties experience,” explains Ivars Balodis chairman of the organization of people with disabilities

The choice of the educational establishments included in a schedule of this study visit is not casual. There are selected several establishments in Liepaja region working very hard to help people with disability – Association of Liepaja Blind People is of the leading NGO for people with sight problems in the integration area. This association has created Liepaja to be the friendliest city in Latvia for sight invalids. Also University of Liepaja is one of few establishments in Latvia that helps people with disabilities of a various kind to obtain a university degree. In same queue Cirava vocational secondary school has found possibilities to teach disabled people professions. There will be also useful information to hear in the State Social Integration Agency and in the State Agency of Special Education.

 Since the beginning of September people with disabilities, businessmen, specialists who day by day work with people with disability are welcome to visit our homepage www.tavanakotne.eu and read more information about the project and other activities.This homepage is especially formed and adjusted for people with various physical limitations, foreseeing various sizes of letters, text contrast, clear explanations. Homepage will display research data regarding integration of disabled people in all three countries, and also will be formed and actualized data base with the examples of the good practice that will help to optimise information both for lessons and work possibilities.

 Additional information:

The Grundtvig program (education for adults and lifelong learning) is one the subprograms financed by the EU  Life Long Learning program, that promotes and financially supports projects, education partnerships, individual mobility, continuing education, multilateral networks. The program supports adult education activities, and organizations providing such education, including state and self-government establishments, culture establishments, NGO and other institutions performing educational functions.

The main idea of the project – to create a data base, where anyone can find the best practice examples from Latvia, Great Britain and Spain. The target groups of the project are people who day by day work, live or stay in close contact with people with disability.  Employers who would like to employ people with disabilities will be able to receive information about preconditions to do it the very best way. Schools and other educational institutions will find out how to create study classes or groups for children and adults with disability. In the frame work of the project the research is carried out on how the inclusion of the people with disabilities is implemented in practice in each of the countries - how people with disabilities are adapting in labor market, how they can obtain education and better integrate into society.  In order to exchange practical experience, study visits will be organized in each partner country as well as international training course will be implemented for the people who are working with the disabled persons to improve the practical work skills and knowledge.

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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.