Inclusion of Students of Level VI of the Special Programme in the Environment

External practice

Duration

In progress

Partnership

The main goal is to include students in the social environment. In our case, in the Velenje Adult Care Centre and the company PUP Velenje.

Reason it was developed

The goal of all school education is to enable students to live as independently as possible. Due to their reduced intellectual abilities, people with mild, more serious and severe intellectual disabilities will never be completely independent. With special education processes, we develop their level of autonomy and independence to optimal limits (Grubešič, 2014). I am therefore always looking for ways to make this possible. In 2014, with the establishment of level VI, we initiated the active inclusion of students with intellectual disabilities in the social environment.

Activities

On level VI of the special education programme, we endeavour to influence the social adaptability and acceptance of people with intellectual disabilities through various forms of integration into the local environment and situational learning. Thus, students who attend level VI of the special programme and are aged between 21 and 26 years are included in several institutions in the local environment, where they undertake various work and workshops. By working in this way, they communicate to the community that they want to be accepted and contribute their share to the environment and society in which they live. Before becoming involved in work outside school, the level VI students attended a lecture on work safety, where they were introduced to the possible dangers at work and how to perform work as safely as possible. They also obtained the consent of their parents and a contract was concluded between the school and the parents for the performance of work training. The institutions we cooperate with are the Velenje Adult Care Centre, PUP Velenje d.d., Integra Velenje, and the Andragogical Institute of the People’s University Planet of Generations Multigenerational Centre. I will focus on the work at the Velenje Adult Care Centre and PUP Velenje. One day per week, level VI students are involved in working in the laundry or kitchen at the Velenje Adult Care Centre, where they work for four hours. The students help with stacking, sorting and ironing laundry. In the kitchen, they help peel onions and garlic and stack napkins. The students also spend free time with the residents of the centre. Together they play skittles and board games, talk, participate in memory exercises, encourage one another and, where necessary, offer help to one another. The staff have accepted the students and understand them. Not only that, if we are absent due to other school obligations, we are missed. They say we keep their work going. This is an example of successful integration into the environment, as it demonstrates that even people with mild intellectual disabilities can contribute to the community. At PUP, which offers services for well-arranged and pleasant outdoor living, level VI students plant seedlings, water the plants, shift soil, and transfer seedlings from one space to another. Working at PUP is exhausting, as the work is done outside regardless of the weather, while the greenhouses are unbearably hot in the summer and cold in the morning. Working at the Adult Care Centre and PUP Velenje gives the students an opportunity to acquire new knowledge and develop new skills. The students develop and strengthen social skills and work habits, take on various work tasks and accept responsibilities for these tasks. In performing their tasks, they become increasingly sovereign. They learn teamwork and socially acceptable behaviour, as well as acquiring orientation in the workplace, and developing and strengthening mutual relations with both employees and residents.

Results

In all of these forms of integration into the social environment, the level VI students maintain and acquire work and social skills, improve communication, expand their social network, strengthen self-confidence, increase their autonomy, improve their self-esteem, and participate actively in society. This way of working contributes to raising both the quality of life and the dignity of the users. In this kind of integration into the environment, the students feel safe, accepted and welcome. With this way of working, we also have a significant impact on the environment, on the awareness and acceptance of people with intellectual disabilities.

Funding

-

Links

Slovenia
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