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Lights on Rights!

Lights on Rights!

A reflection focus to promote active citizenship of people with Intellectual Disabilities

Coordinator: Parc Sanitari Sant Joan de Deu, Spain

Partnership: FUB Stockholm (SE), Kézenfogva Összefogás a Fogyatékosokért Alapítvány (HU), BONIFRATERSKA FUNDACJA DOBROCZYNNA (PL) , CUDV Draga (SI)

Our project “Lights on Rights! A Focus for Reflection on the Promotion of Active Citizenship of Persons with Intellectual Disabilities” is part of the European Union strategy on Disabilities. Moreover, 2015 will be a year in which we will be informed of the recommendations of the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Europe. With this project we intend to "illuminate" the rights, emphasize them, publicize them and divulge them. The state of affairs for ID people is that their full social inclusion and active citizenship are not yet a reality, but future challenges. The policies to remove physical barriers have not been extended to the overcoming of mental barriers. All innovative models of care suggest that ID persons, currently mere recipients of support, have to become contributors for the common good.

Our project provides an answer to the need for further progress in the full conquest of rights, such that our ID learners will have an active role in this process which involves thousands of European citizens. They will not only be recipients but also contributors, offering their experiences, reflections, creations… their voices. As opposed to being isolated in their group or environment, they will participate in open forums, directly sharing their experiences and opinions, and engaging in personal dialogues with disability people from all over Europe. The Erasmus Plus project offers the opportunity to shape this movement. To reflection, and voice, one can add the value of exchange. For people with disabilities, this transnational educational exchange means not just an opportunity to develop experiences but also ensures the proper exercise of their rights, mobility, freedom, transportation, and equality, in other words Full Citizenship.

Our objectives aimed at our learners, their relatives and also professionals are as follows:
- Awareness of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its recommendations for Europe
- The promotion of respect for human rights in micro, meso and macro environments, detecting situations of vulnerability, developing visibilization strategies and through the active teaching the citizenship.
- An increase in practices that are based on the participation of ID people.
- An improvement in the quality of life of ID persons.
- The establishment of synergies among different partnerships and European forums.

The learner beneficiaries of the project from all countries are ID adults in different situations: some are incorporated into the labor market, others perform occupational, educational, and social empowerment activities. Others are in residential facilities throughout the day and are highly dependent. Therefore, each partner will adapt the type of activities to groups that it caters to, to their abilities and theirs interests. At least 450 learners will benefit from our programme for a period of two years.

The partners will review the General programme of activities. Thus, activities will be adapted to introduce the rights in linguistic preparation workshops, adaptation of ICTs, familiarity with digital tools, educational and social skills workshops, quality advisory, Plastic Art Expression, Verbal Expression or occupational training as the as the thematic focuses. In these activities we will obtain tangible results that can be touched, manipulated, and appreciated directly. Other intangible results, have to do with values, inclusion and with the wellbeing of the ID people, involving all those actions that help build a more respectful and inclusive environment.

Our publishable products will be:
- Methodological Guideline for the Promotion of the Rights of Citizens with Disabilities that can help disseminate our knowledge and work programmes to other interested centers and professionals all over Europe.
- A computerized database to facilitate research.
- Research conducted to establish the project's impact on ID people and their immediate social environment. Our previous assumptions are that both the quality of life and the self-esteem of the participants will be increased through awareness and assertion of their rights, contributing to this the increased awareness of these rights by the social environment.

All our partners form part of the Federations at the European level, therefore we can make a great impact upon and reach out to thousands of people through the proactive inclusion and participation in these networks, and forums of representation of persons with disabilities.

Our goals are ambitious, from the gathering of information to the implementation of actions. Yet it is important to respect the pace of our learners, and facilitate participation to all. Therefore, we propose a 24-month project, because it will allow us to deploy actions relating to all our goals, and to overcome difficulties and limitations, at the same time respecting the learning pace of our learners and providing them with a horizon of hope for 2 years.