Communication has great significance in human life. Every day people communicate, share relevant information and convey their thoughts. Various communication methods can change human emotions, thoughts and even behaviour. In pursuit of successful social inclusion of people with mental disabilities the Jonava people with disabilities activity center together with partners from Iceland and Hungary is implementing the Erasmus+ international project “Communication is the path to integration“. The goals of project activities is to exchange good practices on working with people with special needs and to explore people with special needs communication methods.
Jonava people with disabilities activity center is using a communication development tool. This tool enables individuals with language and communication difficulties to solve problems effectively and constructively: successfully participate in social life, to adapt to different social conditions and requirements in the family, educational institution or other social environment. Learning to use communication images can help to develop verbal language more successfully and encourage people to communicate not only on essential issues but also on sharing experiences. Various groups of society can use this method, communication with images: school age children, people with special educational needs, parents, social workers, social educators, etc. We hope that the method used in Lithuania for project partners from Iceland could complement the already existing and applied symbolic communication system during the project implementation. Project partners from Hungary could adapt the whole or most part of the methodologies presented in images communication. Meanwhile in Iceland, the country with one of the best examples of inclusion for people with disabilities, the alternative communication program is developed and adapted to tablets: persons with disabilities can communicate sentences, talk to others and thus do not feel different, separated by pressing the symbols on the tablet. Currently, the use of smart technologies for people with intellectual disabilities is not widespread in Lithuania. The implementation of this project is expected to digitalize the communication with images by by creating a mobile application that can be used by people with disabilities for communication.
Communication is the one of the most important and essential human needs. We hope that the presented methods and tools will allow us to getting to know each other better and to communicate more smoothly, helping to improve the social inclusion of people with mental disabilities.
Author – Jonava people with disabilities activity center employee Viktorija Urbonavičienė
Project “Communication is the path to integration“(Number 2018-1-LT01-KA204-046976)