EASPD Person-centred Member Forum does a study visit in Switzerland
Towards the end of September, a group of members of the EASPD Person-centred Technology (PCT)Member Forum recently attended a study visit to Switzerland.
As part of the EASPD flagship learning program, LightHouse Network, 6 EASPD member organisations attended this study visit. ATAM, Spain; Ergastiri, Greece; Associació Alba and Open the windows, North Macedonia attended the visit.
The first day of the visit began with a visit to Claire Boia and FIDES, two social enterprises that support people with disabilities. Claire Boia has a number of initiatives ranging from homes and schools to social enterprises, while FIDES is an umbrella organisation of 9 social enterprises. Both organisations showed interest in collaborating with the PCT MF. Participants discussed different country specific practices to facilitate inclusive employment opportunities for persons with disabilities and their common challenges. In adequate long-term funding comes a common barrier, on the other hand, the transition to employment is also a challenge due to lack of job opportunities and skills training. Many persons with disabilities also struggle to find proper assistive devices for their use.
The visit extended to the World Health Organization (WHO), where the group met with their Assistive Technology unit. The meeting was very interactive, and the group learned about WHO's various initiatives in this area. They also larened about the WHO Global Assistive Technology report and a new report on health equity for persons with disabilities. The EASPD delegation had a fruitful question and answer session to understand the activities that are running nation-wide in Switzerland. On the second day of the visit, the group attended a training day on innovation booster technology and special needs. The training covered a range of topics including user-centred service design, scientific approaches, innovation and problem solving. The group also brainstormed new project ideas, and one of their ideas was a project on accessible e-learning to promote political participation of people with intellectual disabilities in society.