Change towards inclusion

Action for change

In our work the question how to achieve a change for supporting inclusive developments for persons with disabilities is a central one. The guiding principles are clear (UN CRDP) and also the human rights based approach. Yet in the daily work of development work these principles rest unclear.

A wide field of possibilities

Loads of great approaches have been elaborated to put in place the relevant activities. Notably Community Based Rehabilitation, local inclusive development, twin track approaches, inclusive action plans, accessibility mappings and so on. One important element in these approaches often remains hidden: How to work in the minds of practitioners in structures who take care of children with disabilities? A specific example is the current situation of abandoned children in Morocco (study of UNICEF and the League of Child Protection in Morocco). Currently an additional survey on abandoned children with disabilities in ongoing to shed new light on this group. These surveys indicate that there is an awareness of the problems, about the needs, the existing motivation and the questions. But where to go from here?

Support to change

The question of the day is how to really ensure that the trainings, organisational support and material assistance can achieve a change for inclusion within the project’s duration that is lasting. Clearly one single intervention cannot go there given the context of complex residential institutions. Having discussed with colleagues some ideas emerge slowly how change can be achieved:

  1. Training for institutional staff is needed to fill in the knowledge gaps in terms of practice, human rights, organisational development and infrastructural development
  2. Support to the institution to define a project defining the mission is required to develop the mission and policies of the institution
  3. Negotiations with the board are urgently necessary to stabilize the decisions

Still singular trainings will not reach the goals. Finally the approach has to link trainings on the practices with an ongoing support adapted to the existing – yet incomplete – experiences that are based on a medical approach to understand disability. In doing so the link can be made with the expertise and a new person centred approach.