People with intellectual disabilities (PwID) are full members of the community and deserve the opportunity for a full life in their community where they can live, learn, work, and participate alongside each other through all stages of life.
Participation and community engagement can be defined as the process of working collaboratively with PwID to address issues affecting their well-being. It is a powerful vehicle for bringing about environmental and behavioural changes that will improve community life (e.g., accessibility of services). It often involves partnerships that help mobilise resources and influence systems, change relationships among partners, and serve as catalysts for changing policies, programs, practices, services and community attitudes.
Participation and community engagement also is about involving PwID in the decision-making processes in the community, which is critical in the successful development of policies, programmes and interventions including the decisions by local power and services to commit to the different needs of its members. Trainees will learn how to reinforce the recognition of their abilities and needs, their participation and engagement in the community.
People with intellectual disabilities and supporters, including disability professionals, relatives and/or other stakeholders who can play a role in the exercise of rights of persons with intellectual disabilities. Their involvement in the training activities could be adapted to each scenario.
- To understand the meaning of participation and community engagement.
- To identify challenges and barriers to community participation.
- To identify areas and opportunities for community participation.
- To identify and recognize participative mechanisms in the community.
- To know how to collaborate and work with community resources To promote participation and engagement in decision-making processes at the community level
- To be involved and heard in problem-solving in order to build tailored solutions.
- To empower democratic participation.
- To reinforce the use of digital tools as a key resource for participation and community engagement.
- Self-advocacy (e.g., taking action to represent and advance your own interests; participate in events on civic engagement and political participation; share information; raise awareness on rights; identify barriers and recommend solutions).
- Social Inclusion (e.g., presence; choice; competence and recognition; respect and valued roles; participation and belonging).
- Social skills (are the skills we use to interact with each other. These interactions can be both verbal and non-verbal. E.g. Greeting people; initiating conversation; understanding the listener; empathising; reading social cues; social roles; previewing or thinking before speaking; problem-solving; apologising; asking for assistance).
- Community engagement (e.g., community-centred orientation; understanding on community members ‘needs, views and expectations; strong social network among and between community member´s; common values and ideals of social justice; interaction; involvement; participation; accessible communication and information; equal opportunities of education, work access, political, public and cultural participation).
- Building an inclusive society with strong community relationships for PwID.
- Definition of Social Inclusion, Social Roles and Social Skills
- Inclusive Community Engagement
- Meaning, benefits and barriers of participation and community engagement
- Inclusive Community Engagement Principles
- Levels of community engagement according to the purpose: Inform; Consult; Involve; Collaborate; Lead
- Community engagement: resources and strategies
- Inclusive one-to-one and group engagement (e.g. voting; volunteering; member/associated/affiliated; participation in meetings, interviews, workshops, forums; festival; information session; Vox pops (‘voice of the people’); surveys; phone conversations; conference calls; community mapping; use of community resources and services; attend community spaces; walking tours or site visits, etc)
- Inclusive cultural and art engagement (e.g. attend and participate in exhibitions; museums; photos; multimedia; performances; street art; murals; sculpture)
- Inclusive communication materials (features in different accessibility formats: brochures; fact sheets; displays; newsletters; posters; stickers; media release; advertisements; public notices; banners; signs; reports, etc)
- Inclusive online engagement (e.g. use and access of online forum; website of public services, organisations and community facilities; Facebook; Twitter; Blog; YouTube (e.g. city council; parish council; library; church; health centre, etc…)