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The Multiplication Course on “Community Inclusion” described here represented one of the three Keys to Inclusion addressed within the New Paths to InclUsion (NPI) Network. The development of this multiplication course is coordinated by Stefan Doose from the Fachschule für Sozial- und Heilpädagogik (vocational school for social and inclusive education) in Lensahn in the North of Germany. The initial guiding question has been:
“How can we make sure that support services respond to the individual needs of persons with disabilities and empower them to take part in the community?”

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If you wish more information on the Multiplication Course: Community Development and Inclusion, please click here.

Participating in culture means to be part of social life. The right to cultural participation is laid down in the UN Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities. However, culture has always been less a means of integration than a means of differentiation.
The city of Hamburg offers plenty of culture, but for many people the doors of theatre, opera, cinema or sporting events remain closed. In addition to financial issues age-related weakness, disabilities or language barriers can exclude people from the cultural experience. The “Hamburger Kulturschlüssel” (cultural key) opens these doors.
In order to achieve that everyone can participate in the cultural life of the city, the “Hamburger Kulturschlüssel” arranges contact between said culture lovers and voluntary companions who accompany them on their way to the event, during the event and on their way back home. The “Hamburger Kulturschlüssel” also canvasses the organizers of cultural events as a cooperation partner (“the culture donors”) who regularly provide free tickets.

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The Job Coach Placement is a scientifically validated vocational integration programme with the aim to integrate mentally challenged persons with performance limitations in the open labour market by Supported Employment.

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For an overview of the sensing journeys, please click here.

The project Black and White is in its third phase – it started in 2012.
Support for people with disabilities in the Czech Republic is still strongly influenced by the old fashioned view that people are objects of care. In this environment, society, families and professional services are convinced that they have the right to decide in the best interest of people labelled as disabled. Autonomy, independence, inclusion and participation in the society are still dreams for a majority of the most vulnerable groups: people with intellectual and psycho-social disabilities, people with dementia, brain injury, etc. It often evolves into situations where people are treated against their will and moreover they have to pay for unwanted services.

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The Yyteri for All research and development project, administered by Satakunta University of Applied Sciences, started in 2009 in the area of Yyteri in Pori, on the west coast of Finland. Yyteri is a unique nature region located in the west coast of Finland, housing a variety of service provides including accommodation, restaurants and sport facilities. Its sandy beach and dunes provide unique settings for outdoor activities but simultaneously represent a rough and difficult environment for persons with disabilities. The aim of the project was to respond to the needs of a society to support independent and unrestricted life. The essence of the project was to provide services at the Yyteri beach area equally for all and to enable full participation of persons with disabilities through inclusive physical and social environment.

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In Germany people with a very high support needs usually don’t get the opportunity to be part of the regular working life. If they are not able to work for at least three hours per day, they even are excluded of the sheltered workshops. In the federal state of Hamburg people concerned can visit institutions called day-care centre. These offer different kind of work like handcraft, food processing or internal services. But the varieties of different work are limited and for this reason the options for their users as well. Furthermore the clients don’t have lots of points of contact with people without a handicap and the regular working life.
The project “Auf Achse” Leben mit Behinderung Hamburg develops space for work, new experiences, meetings in the community and contact to other working people.

Auf Achse Hamburg

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The third sensing journey leads the research group to Menter Fachwen in Wales. Menter Fachwen provides training and work opportunities for people with disabilities. The idea of Menter Fachwen came about jointly from a group of friends living in Fachwen on the edge of Snowdonia. They were interested in developing an enterprise for their local area and believed that people with disabilities should have equal chances to participate.

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The general problem in the community that the project is addressed to is the general public's attitude towards people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. This attitude is reflected in all levels of interaction of this population with the community, such as housing, employment, leisure time activities and so on. The quality of life of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities is highly influenced by their level of inclusion. It would be a better and a stronger society if it would be an inclusive one.
Our main objectives are to change the attitudes and thus to make the Israeli society a better one.

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The second learning journey brought us to Madrid from January 14 to January 15, 2014. We have seen FEAPS, a big umbrella organisation for organisations for people with intellectual disabilities, which wants to change their work away from thinking in services and centres towards support and opportunities with 10 different strategic projects.

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The presencing event in Sessimbra followed a very structured but open format using different methods from the U-Process. Within the meeting we had a prototype session where we summarized some learnings from the three sensing journey.The sensing journeys opened up a deeper understanding for “ingredients” of community inclusion.

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Our first sensing journeys brought us from November 12 to November 13 2013 to Hamburg in Germany. Sensing journeys are one of the methods of the Theory U. They are designed to experience the system through the lens of different stakeholders. Together with other users the participants will undertake small journeys to different places in that system. We took a series of immersion, listening, inquiry and dialogue activities to explore how inclusive activities in the community are working. We were searching for prototype ideas that could catalyse profound change in the system towards inclusion. Could we extract some ingredients that are needed to create inclusion in the community?

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Abstract

With the “Theory of Communicative Action” (Jürgen Habermas) as a backdrop, the authors highlight the need to incorporate the logic of the lifeworld into social work practice. Habermas observed that society operates accordingly either to the logic of the system or that of the lifeworld. Social work practice runs the risk of being solely driven by the logic of the system and in doing so, creates the illeffects of devaluing the strengths and resources of their clients and even excluding them from their families, friends, neighbours and the mainstream. They offer SONI as a model of practice that is built on principles and techniques that pave the way for the wisdom and values of the lifeworld to permeate the logic of the system. A case study illustrates how the SONI model operates in the fields of Structures, Organisations, Networks and Individuals.

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The Yyteri for All research and development project, administered by Satakunta University of Applied Sciences, started in 2009 in the area of Yyteri in Pori, on the west coast of Finland. Yyteri is a unique nature region located in the west coast of Finland, housing a variety of service provides including accommodation, restaurants and sport facilities. Its sandy beach and dunes provide unique settings for outdoor activities but simultaneously represent a rough and difficult environment for persons with disabilities. The aim of the project was to respond to the needs of a society to support independent and unrestricted life. The essence of the project was to provide services at the Yyteri beach area equally for all and to enable full participation of persons with disabilities through inclusive physical and social environment.

To find out more, please click here.

To see the types of complexity, please click here.

People with disabilities can be marginalised in society by living in residential care, separate from others; by limited expectations from the community; by taking a less routine part in ordinary daily life. These “glass boundaries” can be a consequence of traditional care.
StepIn’s project aims to put people with disabilities at the heart of the community, giving them independence, a sense of inclusion and expectations that they will contribute: initially to a close circle and then the wider community.
We believe this enhances the life of the individual and enriches the community in which they live.

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Person-centered planning is a means to identify important future possibilities for a person and coordinate action that moves toward that future. The horizon of possibilities people identify and the extent of social learning they mobilize to move toward those possibilities varies with the context for planning. 
Two distinctions are important for understanding the differing contexts that shape the contribution person-centered planning can make to people living in their own homes and working in real jobs.

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“Meet our Neighbours! – a tactile experience” aims to produce a set 13 tactile images of the main celestial objects of the Solar System for visually impaired children from the ages of 6 to 12 years old and their educators. Through dedicated hands-on low cost activities, these tactile schematic images can be built with different textures using common materials that are inexpensive and can be used by all.
This project presents ways to provide low cost solutions (avoiding the expensive tactile printing costs), promotes inclusion and interactive hands-on activities for visually impaired children and their non-visually impaired peers and creates dynamic interactions based on oral knowledge transmission between them.

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Creating Blue Space: Fostering Innovative Practices for People with Developmental Disabilities [(2013) Toronto: Inclusion Press] explores three core themes:

  • The breakdown of the delegated approach to serving people with developmental disabilities and the search for good support forms through innovation in an evolving developmental disabilities field.
  • Moving from client-hood and consumerism to citizenship by undertaking a quest for communities of diversity and mutuality.
  • The design and delivery of individualized supports through the development of blue spaces that encourage generative action in self, relationships and organizations.

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This project is based on providing social service for people with disabilities who left institutional care after decades of years.
The main goal is to ensure so people will be included into the community through the employment, positive social role (e.g. like volunteers in their community) and social relationships with people in neighbourhood.

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The purpose of person-centered practice is to assist people with intellectual disabilities and their allies to co-create the conditions for a life together that they have good reasons to value living. Such a life includes a personally suited version of the ordinary experiences that matter to anyone: the experience of being present in typical community places for the same purposes as other citizens; a sense of belonging as an equal among others; opportunities to develop gifts and capacities and experience the respect and sense of meaning that comes with the expression of those capacities in contributing social roles; and the power to make choices about their life circumstances.

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To see Template on Examples of Good Community Inclusion Projects in Europe, please click here.

It is very simple. Well done, and with a solid values base, the family of Person-Centered Planning approaches can and do assist to create some remarkable, almost unimaginable futures, for people who have traditionally been written off and institutionalized. It can be a core element in a systems change strategy. So the 'possibilities' and power of Person-Centered planning and facilitation have only just begun, and are brimming with enormous promise.

However, simultaneously, there is a serious challenge to this potential as large system 'accountability' requirements thin the soup of possibility into a gruel that can barely sustain life. The pressure to deliver 'more' with less and do it faster means that the very core of Person-Centered Planning is often gutted because there is no time to be person centered. In fact, in North America, with economic cutbacks, there is a frightening 'recovery' and 'reinvestment' in larger-group mini-institutions and institutions.

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Menter Fachwen has aimed to place people with an intellectual disability at the very front of the tourist industry. Llanberis is a busy tourist area and they hope to benefit from having a base in Llanberis. They are aware that there is a wealth of knowledge being help by older people in the villages. It would be a tragedy if the younger generations were to lose this knowledge. North West Wales has a rich heritage involving farming and the slate quarrying industry that visitors and local people alike may be unaware of.
The Walk and Discover project aims to address that problem by gathering information about the history and heritage of the villages of North West Wales and beyond.

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