Translation of original text: Panagiotis Seitanidis
A two-day training seminar on familiarization with disability was held in the Municipality of Aigaleo on April 5th and 7th, 2022. It was addressed to officials of the Municipality who work at reception and public service points, intending to ensure equal treatment of disabled citizens. The scientific part was undertaken by the Civil Non-Profit Company “Me Alla Matia”, with suggestions from experienced and qualified colleagues in the field:
✤ Giorgos Stathis – Greek Sign Language Interpreter, President of Association of Greek Sign Language Teachers (SDENG)
✤ Thalia Kiousi – Personal assistant for people with mobility impairments
✤ Vangelis Avgoulas – Blind lawyer, President of the Civil Non-Profit Company “Me Alla Matia”, member of the Social Policy Committee of Central Union of Municipalities of Greece (KEDE)
✤ Eli Driva – Actor with motor impairment and philologist
The seminar focused on topics concerning visual, motor, and hearing impairment.
The ultimate goal was to train the employees who serve disabled citizens to interact with them in the best way possible. Mayor Yiannis Gikas, the Deputy Mayor of Social Protection Ilias Mandros, the Deputy Mayor of Culture Nikolaos Asimakopoulos, and the representative of the contractor company of the project EEO GROUP, Konstantinos Katsanos, attended this seminar.
The presentations included videos starring disabled people who highlight aspects of their daily life; additionally, the seminar also had an experiential nature, with the demonstration of techniques for accompanying blind people by sighted individuals.
See the targeted programs implemented by the Civil Non-Profit Company “Me Alla Matia” for local governments here.
Information about the project
The seminar was part of the Action 9.3 ASDA “Integrated services and actions to prevent and deal with discrimination, improve the quality of life and social inclusion of special and vulnerable groups in the Municipality of Aigaleo”.
The project has the distinctive title “Intermunicipal Social Network EDASSO” and has a duration of 21 months. It is part of priority axis 09 “Promoting Social Inclusion and Combating Poverty and Discrimination – Ensuring Social Cohesion” of the European Program “Attiki” 2014-2020″ and will be financed through the Operational Program “Attiki 2014-2020” from European and National Resources.
The EDASSO Intermunicipal Social Network aims at strengthening social cohesion, tackling social exclusion, and improving the quality of life of citizens who belong to vulnerable and susceptible groups. The actions developed in the context of the project target social care services and psychosocial support actions. Prevention interventions are also being developed for critical social phenomena to increase knowledge, empower, support, and educate individuals to adopt a positive life attitude and improve their quality of life.
In the light of the concept of inclusion and social integration for Persons with Disabilities, the Intermunicipal Social Network EDASSO develops integrated actions and services addressed exclusively to PwD and their families, to eliminate social exclusion and ensure acceptance and integration into society.
The actions and services include, among others:
- Activities of experiential empowerment of the PWDs by utilizing the expressive – visual media
- Pilot actions of “technologically supported collaborative work” of the disabled
- Counseling of parents with disabled members through a counseling process, individual and/or group
- Initiatives to inform and raise awareness of social and professional bodies, employers, and the general public
- Supporting the adaptation of PWDs to the digitization of everyday life and the labor market
Visual Description: First 3 photos – Snapshots from the experiential exercises on escorting a blind person by a sighted person. Bottom left- Vaggelis Avgoulas and Eli Driva address the audience of employees. Bottom right – Vaggelis Avgoulas with the white cane of the blind speaks to the workers.
Watch the relevant video report: