Panagiotis Pitsiniagas, Vaggelis Avgoulas, Sofia Alesta, Yiannis Kondraros, Thalia Kiousi at the venue of the seminar. In the projector behind them, the logo of NPO Me Alla Matia


Translation of the original text in Greek: Panagiotis Seitanidis

The Municipality of Trikala promotes the service of citizens with disabilities, as part of the essential approach of optimal service to all.

Through a seminar on Thursday, June 15th, 2023, the Municipality of Trikala is leading the effort to adopt the new, modern perspective, that of an inclusive mentality, in municipal services. The actions will contribute to the equal management of disabled citizens’ requests for a Municipality with a more human face, in practice and on tangible issues.

The seminar was held at the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Hub of e-trikala SA, GiSeMi hub, by NPO “Me Alla Matia”.

Its president, the blind lawyer Mr. Vaggelis Avgoulas, in his introductory speech, explained to dozens of employees of the Municipality of Trikala the main objectives of the seminar, as well as the philosophy of NPO “Me Alla Matia” which operates by disabled people for disabled people.

Welcoming the presenters and officials of the Municipality of Trikala, the Deputy Mayor of Administrative and Financial Services, Sofia Alesta, precisely stressed the effort of the Municipality to “embrace” citizens with disabilities more fully, improving the services provided, emphasizing equality in practice.

In addition to Mr. Avgoulas, presenters at the experiential seminar were Ms. Maria Iliopoulou, President of the Hellenic Association for Asperger Syndrome, Mr. Panagiotis Pitsiniagas, a person with motor impairment and Accessibility & Inclusion Advisor at NPO “Me Alla Matia”, Mr. Yannis Kondraros, trainer of guide dogs and founder of the Liberty Guide Dogs and Ms. Thalia Kiousi, Inclusion and Accessibility Programs Manager of NPO “Me Alla Matia”.

The employees of the Municipality, for five hours, participated in a free dialogue about the daily life of people with visual, motor, and hearing impairments and people on the autism spectrum.

In addition, many questions about guide dogs were resolved, and techniques for accompanying blind people by sighted guides were demonstrated. The seminar also focused on politically correct vocabulary and the social model of disability, giving communication tips for a more human-centered approach to the requests of the disabled residents of Trikala.

Dimitris Papastergiou, walking by the side of Vaggelis Avgoulas who is walking on the blind guide

“This was one of the most interesting initiatives of the Municipality of Trikala: experiential training of its staff in the service of disabled citizens, with the assistance of NPO “Me Alla Matia”. Earlier, with Mr. Avgoulas, we walked around Trikala and saw the interventions that need to be done and those already being implemented in terms of accessibility. Objectively, we still have a lot of work to do, but important steps are now being taken”, the Mayor of Trikala, Mr. Dimitris Papastergiou, noted in his related statement.

Sofia Alesta, Vangelis Avgoulas, Nikolaos Gougoulakis

The President of the Trikala Bar Association, Mr. Nikolaos Gougoulakis, was also present at the experiential training. Among other things, he discussed with Mr. Avgoulas the issues of accessibility of disabled citizens to the procedures of Justice.

See photos from the experiential staff training

👉 You can find more details about the NPO “Me Alla Matia” programs in Local Government Organizations here.

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