Stefan Ager, together with his colleague Christiane Zimmer delivered an inclusive training for partners and friends of the New Paths to Inclusion Project on 16-17 April in Prague. A self-advocate himself, 28-year-old Stefan works at Innovia, mostly training people with intellectual and other disabilities. His background in this field, coupled with his own experience of living with an intellectual disability, made Stefan uniquely aware of the need for people with and without disabilities to be supported in learning together.
Entitled Inclusive spaces of learning, the Prague training engaged participants, mostly disability specialists working in social care, or self-advocates. Participants gained valuable tools on how to implement inclusive learning techniques in different educational settings.
The two-day exercise started with participants sharing their former experiences with inclusive trainings or, in general, with educational seminars. They then worked with the experiences, and particularly with the challenges inclusive events often pose. Through group work and other active training methods, they developed new prototypes for inclusive learning, and new ways to involve people with intellectual disabilities in the development of training session.
“It was virgin soil for Christiane and me to do a training about this topic,” Stefan said. “Our training in these two days was also inclusive. This means that the participants of this training were also very different - people with and without disabilities, people with totally different experiences and people with many different mother tongues,” he added. Stefan also believes the trainers themselves had to test their own limits within the trainings, which he believes was very useful for participants to experience. “Again and again it is an exciting attempt to shape and conduct an event for as many different participants as possible in a way they perceive as positive,” Stefan concluded.