“What does it mean to really include people with disability and/or special needs in the new job panorama?” This question has inspired Logosabile Onlus to create the project “Transfer&Empower”(T&E) which has provided 20 young participants with the opportunity to strengthen and enhance their entrepreneurial and digital competences, including soft-skills and problem solving, through a empowering pathway with the added value of a 16 days mobility abroad in Poland.
Logosabile Onlus and Borderland without Barriers have created this project in order to create more employable and self-confident young people with disability and/or special needs taking into consideration their background and needs which often do not allow them to develop skills and competences in the same way of their peers. These young people lack of self-confidence, are not independent, since they rely a lot on their families which for this reason tend to be overprotective, and have never had the occasion to challenge themselves, discovery more about their strengths and weaknesses. The project T&E has focused on these needs and has developed more independent and self-confident youngsters which are flexible, open, and attractive to the labour market.
T&E has been divided into 2 steps: the first one in Italy with a preparatory course with which the participants have started to develop competences in the digital area (how to design, edit and produce professional photos and videos), e-marketing, coaching and communication techniques to better deal with their experience abroad. During this phase each participant has created with the tutors an Individual Development Plan (IDP) analysing their objectives and aspirations and including an action plan to achieve them. The second step has been the mobility of 16 days in Poland (Bielsko-Biala) in which the young participants have had the occasion to participate in a work-based experience in which they have applied the competences they started to develop in Italy strengthening them. They have created during the project 3 events from scratch, from the idea to the realisation.
Taking into consideration the needs of the target group, this was provided during the mobility with more than one accompanying person for the total duration of the experience abroad. The role of the accompanying people has been very important to stimulate the participants making them feel more secure and at the same time monitoring and evaluating them to make sure that the Learning Outcomes were accomplished.
Each participant at the end of the mobility has obtained ECVET credits to spend in other courses of level EQF 3. At the end of the placement the skills and competences have been registered in the Regional personal assessment booklet as per D.lgs. 13/13 and the ECVET credits were registered in the Europass Mobility Certificate. Moreover, each participant has obtained the certificate of “Sustainable Cultural and Heritage Event Organiser”
T&E has focused in the development of the 8 transversal skills defined by Europe, focusing on the theme of inclusion in order to get youth with disability and special needs closer to the job’s market, making them more employable and independent. The foreign experience also encourages collaboration between different countries and the value of European citizenship.
The project has not only empowered the young participants, but also the participating organisation. The partners have strengthened their skills and knowledge in dealing with target group with special needs, giving us more ideas for the creation of new projects that encourage inclusion and development of skills for all young people. The staff has reinforced their skills and competences through an effective job-shadowing period abroad.
The impact on the territory has been on different levels, producing benefits to the participants, their families, the place where they live and training institutions, and therefore will contribute to the understanding of the importance of lifelong learning and the benefits of European citizenship.
The project concluded can serve as a basis for the creation of new courses for the adult public. The development of professional skills related to new technologies, employability skills and soft-skills can bring added value to the life of adults with disability and special needs, encouraging them to take life in their hands by making them more independent, employable and self-confident. With their life experience adults would certainly give an added value to the course promoting lifelong learning, filling in the mismatch of competences in technology that often characterizes this public but especially making them understand that disability and special needs are not negative, but on the contrary can be valorised to create a more inclusive society which understands and gives value to diversity.