We are looking to establish and run a Community centre of Excellence for the mentally disabled adults and their families that provides life skills and education services to people with disabilities with multi-dimensional content, using scientific evidence-based practices, and to create a repeatable model nationwide.
The number of individuals with various disabilities according to the statistical analysis carried out in Turkey is over million, and this figure constitutes of the population which is 82 million. The number of individuals with special needs is approximately 354 thousand. This number only includes people with disabilities under 21 years of age. Adults who are over 21 years of age and out of compulsory school age receive only 80 minutes of education per week in rehabilitation centres. There are no centre of excellence that can offer life skills training for these individuals.
There is a special education needs department in two state universities in Eskişehir where the life and education complex is planned to be established; researchers conduct national and international scientific research activities. In this respect, Eskişehir receives migration from different parts of the country. Apart from universities, there are small units in three major municipalities of our city trying to provide services for people with various disabilities. These services can be divided into two groups as care and education.
The lack of a model suitable for the conditions in order to provide consistent and up to date scientific application of education and training services to adults with special needs poses a significant ; The first priority of this project is to establish a centre based on scientific foundations in which individuals and families with special needs can receive health, education and social services together. Of course, the internalization of social services by university students who will be given responsibility to carry out the activities of this center and their willingness to carry out studies in this sense will be an important outcome of our project. In addition, prospective special education teacher candidates who take part in this project will have the opportunity to gain invaluable first-hand experiences before entering the profession. In this context, ESOGÜ will play a role in the realization of this project and making its effects widespread with all its units, particularly the Faculty of Education, Faculty of Medicine, Faculty of Dentistry, Faculty of Agriculture and Art Design.
The following units are planned to be located in the center of the project:
1. In-house skills workshops (cleaning and ordering, preparing and serving food, gathering and cleaning after dinner, cleaning and maintaining clothing)
2. Professional preparation (waitresses, office work, sewing embroidery workshop etc) workshops
3. Agriculture (gardening, planting, designing and maintaning)
4. Educational training unit (for prospective teachers, teachers and families)
5. Social facility (cafeteria, relaxation area)
6. Art and hobby (painting, wood, felt, knitting, etc.) workshop
The studies to be carried out in all workshops in the center will be coordinated by experienced researchers who have in depth ; Applications of practices will be carried out by volunteer trainers attending undergraduate and graduate education in special education needs, medicine, agriculture etc. fields. Each study carried out in the workshops will be published in scientific journals and scientific foundations will be established in order to spread the use of this model nationwide. The scientific data obtained will ensure the sustainability of the model.
Priority support expectations of researchers working for this project consist of the following items:
1. Performing participatory observations in international examples of similar centers
2. Organizing trainings in our country by representatives from international examples of similar centers
3. Financial support to meet basic requirements (physical equipment, office supplies etc.)
4. Supervision in the first year of the study.
This community centre will be the first in its kind to provide much needed education, training and support to those who have mental dissabilities, caregivers and scientists looking to work closely with this set up and and run the community centre of excellence can be used as a model by other universities in their effort in making a difference to those who have intellectual dissability, for families and education providers.
We are looking for partners who are willing to go that extra mile in making a difference.