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Redet mit uns, nicht über uns!
Start date: Aug 1, 2016, End date: Jul 31, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

“Diakonie Mitteldeutschland” is an association for social services of the protestant church in the middle of Germany. With over 25,000 employees and more than 1,500 facilities and services “Diakonie Mitteldeutschland” is the largest association providing social services in the new "Bundesländer". The office of disability assistance in the “Social Services” division is responsible for the management of the Association for Rehabilitation and Integration of people with disabilities and social psychiatry in the "Diakonie Mitteldeutschland". The Association is working in specialized committees related to the different fields, for example: housing, employment, social psychiatry.A key demand of people with disabilities in Germany is "Nothing about us without us". To comply with this, people with disabilities should be involved in the processes of change and have the opportunity to contribute their ideas of a self-determined life. This is one main goal the "Diakonie Mitteldeutschland" put on its agenda. Therefore, it is important to find concepts and ways to include people with disabilities and mental illness to the political process and change management of the social institutions. It is intended that the facilities and services have reflected that people with disabilites want to be involved and to learn about strategies for participation.A part of the project is to learn from good examples of participation and advocacy for people with disabilities in practice. The main aim is to identify methods and models for the facilities and services of the "Diakonie Mitteldeutschland" to promote inclusion. We like to develop sustainable concepts regarding the ambition for recognition, perception and representation of the interests of people with disabilities and people with mental illness who live and work in the facilities and services of the "Diakonie Mitteldeutschland".Participants will be executive leaders managing the facility and services working with disabled people f.ex. Dormitories,workshops. Additionally people with disabilities will participate, if required together with their assistants. These people with disabilities act as multipliers in their environment, for example, residents’ advisory councils and workshop councils in facilities of the “Diakonie Mitteldeutschland”. They are acting actively and are able to affect their institutions as well to multiply the project outcomes in society. It is planned to involve 14 people with disabilities and 7 assistants, 6 executive leaders and 4 staff members of the divison Social Service of the association “Diakonie Mitteldeutschland”.The project partner is the "Zentrum für Kompetenzen" in Vienna, which can offer best-practice knowledge and experience. The activities will include, inter alia, Internships, discussions, presentation of local conditions. This can be accomplished by methods and processes in the partner institutions and exchanges with professionals and people with disabilities in the partner country. The personal skills of each participant will be expanded and strengthened like independence and self-confidence, interculturality and tolerance. These competences are useful to promote the implementation of the "Convention of the United Nations on the rights of persons with disabilities" within the facilities of the "Diakonie Mitteldeutschland" as well as in the political process. In addition, the technical skills of the participants should be expanded, as well as their methodological skills and knowledge to shape one's own field of action.The entire mobility has to be as accessible as possible. Due to the heterogeneity of the people involved in the project brief sequences are needed and a working plan with a sufficient number of breaks. To separate the activities in the project for people with and without disabilities is not effective. The character of the mobility would benefit from active participation; therefore different methods will be used.The expectation is that all participants gain social skills and technical knowledge and are able to interact as multipliers in their respective environments. The personal growth in competence of the participants should have a positive impact on the structures and processes of change in the facilities. Another long-term outcome should be that both the political institutions and the institutions recognize the potential of people with disabilities. Accordingly, they are active and involve people with disabilities and people with mental illnesses their deliberations and decisions.The project participants will be able to share practical impulses and ideas they get during the mobility and to rethink them for everyday work in their facilities. People with disabilities, involved in the mobility, shall share their experiences from the project and in cooperation with the other project participants spread the ideas to push the further process of inclusion.

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