Tu cittadino come me
Start date: 02 Jun 2015, End date: 01 Feb 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Context/background Life expectancy of people with Down syndrome (Ds), due to recent developments of the medical scienceand increased care, has passed from 24 years in the 60’s to 62 years. It gets urgent that these people raise their awareness as citizens and that more effective methods to enable them to take part in politics. Even if “self advocacy” is both a principle and a practice quite spread all over the disability world, most part of people with intellectual disabilities do not exercise their political rights, due to lack of: Awareness and education of people with intellectual disabilities themselves; Awareness of their families, carers and professionals who work with them; Facilitating measures and tools by Public Authorities. Objectives General objectives a) Promoting participation of youngsters with Ds in the European democratic life b) Raising awareness of youngsters with Ds on their European citizenship Specific objective (scope) about youngsters with Ds, directly involved within the project . Greater knowledge/awareness about their local, national and European political rights and consequent exercise of such rights. There is also another indirect target group of the project, very much involved in its activities: policy makers. The objective on this group is to raise their awareness on difficulties experienced by youngsters with Ds in exercising their - political, above all - rights and on the active role the latter could play in society, if adequately involved. Participants 24 youngsters with Ds, 8 youngsters (volunteers), between 18 and 30. They will be supported by 8 educational professionals of the Italian Association of People with Down Syndrome (AIPD), with a long experience in the field of education and training of people with intellectual disabilities, specially as far as independent living is concerned. Both young participants and educational professionals will belong to (8) AIPD’s local branches. At least 8 local and 2 national policy makers will be involved as well. Activities foreseen -National survey to entitled AIPD members with Ds about the exercise of their political rights and possible difficulties experienced. - Preparatory meetings on a local level: training, dialogue with local policy makers, preparation of the seminar in Rome. - National youth seminar: training sessions, draft of recommendations, dialogue with national policy makers, Radio broadcasting. Methods and tools adopted Interactive training sessions with new or already tested - and adequately updated – units. Team work Meetings and interviews with local and national policy makers. Playful and pedagogical activities with policy makers: cypher and game: ”All the same all different”). Expected results Participant youngsters with and without Ds should increase their knowledge on the topics related to the project, understand their potential as and increase their awareness of European citizens. AIPD local association and other intellectual disabilities associations introduce some elements about political participation and citizenship issues in their training programmes, especially those related with independent living.. Recommendations are addressed to policy makers on local, national and european level. Impact foreseen Greater number of entitled people with Ds who do exercise their citizenship More comprehensible political manifestos. Follow up Implementation and extension of the experience on a Europen level through the promotion of a new Structured Dialogue Action project, involving other associations which support and represent people with intellectual disabilities across Europe.

Coordinator