“This mobility in Palermo allowed me to discover the unknown capacities of youth with intelectual disabilities. They will definitely keep very good memories of this experience” said an educator from France who has participated in mobility activities in Palermo as a part of TEDDIP’Europe project. This TEDDIP mobility for the first time involved young people with pervasive development disorder and autism and gave them an opportunity to travel, discover another reality, culture, people, even to fall in love, whilst supporting their inclusion into the mainstream society.
Youth together with the educators from special educational centers from Mataró (Spain) and Perpignan (France) participated in different non-formal activities between 30th of January and 3rd of February 2017 hosted by CESIE and local centers Canto di Los and Volta la Carta. Through dance, art, theater and music therapies we all were fully immersed in self-discovery and development.
During one week of activities in the mornings we were exploring Palermo and its architecture, tasting ‘Palermitan’ culture through food and breathing the sea. In the afternoons we were taking part in experiential workshops in local centers connecting Spanish, French and Italian participants. The first day was dedicated to getting know each other through dynamic collaborative learning activities. The following days were dedicated to activities linked to arts and creativity. Educators from Canto di Los facilitated art therapy and dance therapy sessions.
TEDDIP youth through colors and imagination expressed their feelings and emotions. Moreover, they got connected with their own body and with their peers through the movement. Educators from Volta la Carta engaged youth in theater activity where the participants had to express and discover themselves in different improvised situations. The last afternoon we participated in voice therapy session and we experimented sounds of diverse music instruments and tools. As a culmination of the week we all had a little party in Volta la Carta sharing our feelings, experiences and happiness.
Even though at the beginning of the mobility there were some doubts and fears as the participants had to get out of the comfort zone, this experience clearly shows that the expectations were overcome as we all we got connected and reinforced trustful relationships!
So if we ask what are the strategies to support the inclusion of young people with intellectual disabilities into the mainstream society? We can answer that strategies and initiatives that give a chance to TEDDIP youth to participate, meet, connect, share and exchange are on the top of the list. TEDDIP’Europe project is a perfect example!
The next TEDDIP mobility will be organized in the end of March 2017. Educators from Canto di Los and Volta la Carta will travel to Prague to visit local centers, share their experiences and exchange good practices in the field of de-institutionalization of support structures for young TEDDIP.
The TEDDIP’Europe project is co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme – Key Action 2, Strategic partnerships for Youth and involves 4 partner organisations: IME “Al Casal”, ALFMED, I.M.C. (France), Les Aigues (Spain), Eppas (Czech Republic) and CESIE (Italy).
For further information about the project, please contact Ruta Grigaliunaite.