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The first training in Palermo hosted by CEIPES

The first training in Palermo hosted by CEIPES From October 24th to 28th, CEIPES hosted educators, support teachers, and communication assistants from Germany, Turkey, Romania, and Italy for the first Training of the Passion for Inclusion project.

The collaborative efforts of the project partners enabled the creation of valuable content for professionals engaged in both training young individuals with intellectual disabilities and engaging in meaningful dialogues with their caregivers.

The primary focus was on effective communication strategies when interacting with children who have intellectual disabilities. The objective was to establish a foundational understanding that would enable participants to develop personalized communication approaches for various subjects. The recommendations provided included employing social stories, utilizing simple videos, and engaging in clear yet informative conversations to enhance communication with this specific target audience.

The subsequent area of emphasis centered on fostering autonomy in personal hygiene for young individuals with intellectual disabilities. The initial steps involved highlighting health risks, explaining the concept of germs and bacteria in a simplified manner, and establishing a routine that is both enjoyable and easy to remember, thereby facilitating an independent self-care process.

In addition to sharing general information and practical advice on conducting communication activities with children who have intellectual disabilities, the training covered specific topics such as combating stereotypes and prejudices through enjoyable activities, educating students on gender-related issues and the LGBTQIA+ community, and addressing cases of sexual abuse within their class.

All participants exhibited great enthusiasm towards the acquired knowledge and the engaging presentation style employed throughout the training. The program concluded with a visit to A.V.O.F.I.D., a local association dedicated to supporting individuals with intellectual disabilities. This visit provided a platform for an enriching exchange of ideas and served as a valuable opportunity to share best practices, enabling all participants to benefit not only intellectually but also on a personal level.


Addressing the needs of children with intellectual disabilities through the workshops in Palermo

On March 10th and 11th, 2022, the CEIPES offices hosted professionals and assistants (including teachers, psychologists, etc.) who are involved in the care and education of children with cognitive disabilities for the implementation of workshops. The primary objective of these sessions was to gain a comprehensive understanding of the specific needs of this target group in order to address the topic of sex education and develop tailored materials to support them effectively.

The workshops, led by psychologists Raucea and Volpes, fostered an environment of genuine openness and facilitated lively, profound, and participatory discussions among the participants. Throughout the workshops, some parents expressed the desire for better collaboration between educators, teachers, and themselves. They highlighted that, despite professionals providing feedback on progress and challenging behaviors, there was a significant gap in guidance on how to discuss love and sex with their children. This highlighted the urgent need for targeted courses on intimacy and sexuality that prioritize the well-being of the individual and provide materials to facilitate comprehension.

In summary, the workshops underscored the pressing need for specialized training programs focused on addressing affection and sexuality, which emphasize the importance of understanding and do not impose a specific value system. Additionally, the development of relevant materials to support these discussions was identified as crucial for empowering both parents and professionals in fostering a comprehensive and inclusive approach to sex education.


The Italian final event to present the project

CEIPES presented the project results and final deliverables on 10 October to the target group composed of teachers, experts in disability, family members and caregivers of people with disabilities. Besides, students of psychology were also present together with youth working in the field of youth education.

Dichotomy of sex education and disability were addressed as something new, since, as emerged also through the project need analysis, is not common to have this kind of education in families, especially in family units in which there are kids with intellectual disabilities.

The promotion of the project had a good reception from the participants. They were interested in the deliverables and considered them innovative and necessary. They also shared their experiences and opinions, willing to know deeper the best strategies to put in practice sexual education.

It was a good opportunity for CEIPES to also receive feedback and advices for what to improve in the deliverables.