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Start date: Jun 1, 2015, End date: May 31, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

I. Context/Framework of the project — CEFPI as part of the specialized centers of IEFP Network, is pioneer in vocational training of cognitive disabilities groups for over three decades, with a strong implantation in Northern Portugal. In recent years, besides cognitive disabilities, CEFPI has been sought by other publics. ASD (Autism spectrum disorders) are among the groups most in need of our help. For them, transition moments pose severe challenges and constraints — respective processes of social and professional inclusion most likely resulting in failure, further triggering emotional states with strong impact —, hence the necessity of adequate support. Granting such backup requires highly specialized skills. It means, at once, understanding the complexity of their functioning (diagnostic processes), while implying a search for adjusted responses to diagnosed needs (modalities and types of support in training and employment). There are no such resources in Portugal, except those provided by the private sector. Since the moment this shortcoming was detected (in 2011), CEFPI teams have been involved in training programs connected to ASD, which is why they now want to take into action the specific responses. Ergo, we seek to develop stable partnerships with international bodies that are renowned for good practices in school-to-work transition. II. Goals — The project goals are concrete (vide Annex 1). We aim at empowering participants, with the purpose of building resources that allow us to grasp vocational needs (Diagnostic/Orientation), develop skills (modules, training programs in community/work environment) and assemble the necessary supports (mobilizing families, community, or work). Via these means, we shall look for ways of compensating for inhibiting factors that further impede the inclusion of ASD in the community and at work. III. Participants — 14 experts and trainers will take part of the project. Our option is a deliberate one, given the demands of such complex task (organizing responses meant for people with ASD). Each participant is in charge of a specific responsibility — using his/her area of expertise for filtering information that relates to respective fields of knowledge, thus creating, in collaboration with the team, the resources that we seek to produce by the end of the project. The selection of the staff involved in mobility programs in Autismo Burgos and Sevilla (3 participants in each) was carried out according to representativeness and complementarity criteria in fields of knowledge. Staff members belong to the Evaluation and Orientation Unit (UAO), the Training Unit (UF) and the Professional Integration Unit (UIP). The goal is to foster proximity involvement of teams, ensuring their complementarity, by promoting moments of thorough reflection. We intend to boost profound organizational changes, in compliance with our mid- and long-term strategy. IV. Activities, methodologies — According to the aforementioned framework of activities, Annex 1, seven moments of mobility are foreseen, involving three host bodies (Autismo Burgos, Sevilla and Holland), as well as three moments of theoretical improvement (congresses, seminars, post-graduations). For each of the specific goals of the project, several activities, targets, indicators, verification means and subsequent follow-ups are planned, apart from the timescales included in the Annex 2. V. Expected outcomes — (1) Creation of 3 training modules of Social Skills, specifically directed at CEFPI people with ASD (diagnostic, group work, routines); (2) Creation of 3 training modules of Vocational Skills, meant for CEFPI people with ASD (Orientation, skill training and empowerment of families); (3) Creation of a program of community-centered skills for CEFPI people with ASD. VI. Impact on direct addressees (Participants): Acquisition of new knowledge and skills; Capacity of transferring and applying their knowledge to ASD and Families; Capacity for team work development. Impact on indirect addresses: ASD/Families — Adherence to programs testing process, attendance, adherence to new programs; Teams —Acquisition of new knowledge, and new skills, capacity of transferring and applying knowledge to professional performance.

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