“Disabilities is an umbrella term, covering impairments, activity limitations, and participation restrictions. An impairment is a problem in body function or structure; an activity limitation is a difficulty encountered by an individual in executing a task or action; while a participation restriction is a problem experienced by an individual in involvement in life situations. Disability is thus not just a health problem. It is a complex phenomenon, reflecting the interaction between features of a person’s body and features of the society in which he or she lives.”
— World Health Organization, Disabilities
The disability has a dimension related to the health state and also a social dimension. Everyone has different health conditions, but some diseases can provoke disabilities.
The participation of a person is not only influenced by her medical conditions of disabilities, but also by the opportunities to get involved in the life of the community. There are several factors that influence the activity and participation of a person in the life of the community: health conditions, environment factors, personal factors.
All these must be taken into consideration by a youth worker when planning activities that support the inclusion of young people with disabilities.
This inclusion is possible with attention, flexibility. We do can include these young people in our projects and in the community life and we should. As youth workers we need to prepare methods and strategies to work with these youngsters.
How to interact with young people with disabilities?
When you interact with young people with disabilities start from the idea they have normal intellectual and physical abilities and adapt yourself, gradually, to their disability. Do not imagine that people with certain disabilities have low intellectual capabilities!
When you meet a person with disabilities do the same things you would do every time you meet a person – shake their hand, or kiss them om the chicks like you would do with any other person.
Youth workers have an essential role in including these young people in youth activities. During our training course, some of the participants created working strategies to include these youngsters in some local projects. We are eager to see the results of these activities at local level.
Smart Up Inclusion is a Mobility of Youth Workers – Training Course funded by the European Commission – Erasmus+ Programme. The project is coordinated by Sunrise Project – France organisation.