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Change through the influence of animal intervention
Start date: 01 Jul 2016, End date: 30 Nov 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Young people with disabilities are often excluded or given a different status by other people because they do not fit the social expectations, such as being able to do the same activities in the same way as other people. Because of this discrimination, many youngsters with disabilities do not participate in youth activities. The project aims at improving the inclusion of youngsters with disabilities through a different approach by improving the skills of youth workers in innovative methodologies including animal-assisted therapy. The project activities are based on the approach and principles of non-formal education, and will include 12 participants from 3 countries that will share their knowledge and acquire new competences through different workshops such as “needs of disabled youngsters”, “animal-assisted therapy for disabled youngsters”, “animal training”, “introduction to Paragility”, “canine hydrotherapy”, “creation of therapy plans according to the youngster's profile”, practical work with a local association working with disabled, and a specific workshop aimed at creating sustainable cooperation between the participants. The work will be articulated in different phases: preparation of non-formal training modules and of learning agreements, implementation of training, and evaluation of acquired competences and project's evaluation. The project will particularly result in: the increase of the level of competences of participant youth workers in animal-assisted therapy for disabled youngsters, along with a broader understanding of practices in disability in the youth field, leading to increased motivation in their daily work. This project will also encourage the development of innovative methodologies in youth work, increasing the disabled youngsters' motivation to take part in youth activities, therefore increasing their level of autonomy and social integration. Finally, the project will raise awareness about the need for new methodologies in youth work for disabled youngsters and about the usefulness of animal-assisted therapy.
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