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Inclusion Europe works with other organisations
on a project called ‘Hear our voices’.

People working on this project met in Bulgaria.

They talked about how to make sure that
children with intellectual disabilities can take part in their communities.

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On Thursday 27 February, Cedar Foundation, Quip and Down Syndrome Madrid met in Kyustendil, Bulgaria in the framework of Inclusion Europe’s project ‘Hear our Voices’ to exchange best practices on children participation. The objective of the day was to exchange on Person Centred Planning and alternative communications methods to use for participation of children with intellectual disabilities.

The three national partners of the Hear Our Voices project prepared case studies on person-centred planning, presenting outcomes and challenges of their experiences with children with intellectual disabilities. More than 20 staff members of the Cedar Foundation services and 6 representatives of the partner organisations met in the premises of small group homes for children with intellectual disabilities. They focus therefore especially on children in institutional settings but also on children living in their families.

Concrete examples to encourage child participation, motivate children to participate, encourage the development of their abilities, solve their behavioural problems thanks to PCP methods and other methods were discussed on the basis of real cases dealt with by the participants in their respective work environment. “We managed to take out the kids from institution, now we need to take out definitively the institutions from our heads“ said Margarita Parmakova, service Director in Cedar Foundation, Kyustendil.

During the afternoon, the discussions moved more specifically to the field of alternative communication. How to start alternative communication system and communication methods with children who have no or almost no verbal communication? What did work and did not work? Resources and material have been shared by participants.

At the end of the day, the participants felt empowered to continue their work with new ideas and new topics for further development. It has been a useful workshop in a very positive atmosphere.

To read more about the project Hear Our Voices, go to http://www.childrights4all.eu/