Interview with the instructors of the course “Inclusion of People with Functional Diversity (Disability) in Activities, Programmes and Services for Young People”. Ruth San Cristobal Garamendi and Itziar Sánchez Garigorta. AMESTEN Association for Inclusion, Guidance, Training and Social Action.
- Why this course?
Ruth: We delivered this course 2 years ago and following the positive response and the feedback from the participants, we have decided to do it again. We believe that progress has been made in working with people with functional diversity but it is still difficult to find inclusive experiences regarding activities and programmes for young people with these issues. Through this training, we would like to provide a broad perspective on the importance of inclusion in youth services, based on the positive value of differences, as well as share tools to create inclusive environments.
- Is inclusion a social innovation project?
Itziar: Inclusion has a distinctly innovative quality in that it proposes new ways of satisfying a social need that is not being fulfilled. At Amesten, we work with a vision and methodologies that trigger a change of outlook and a process of social reflection that generates new relationships and models of collaboration. It is also innovation because this value has an impact on the welfare of society as a whole and not only on the welfare of people with functional diversity.
- How important is the community in the inclusion of people with functional diversity?
Itziar: We often place the focus of the analysis on the person with functional diversity rather than on how society places certain people at a disadvantage. We need to build communities that work and respond to the needs of all people. The community has an important role to play in this, as it offers natural support mechanisms as well as a network of familiarity and trust. Throughout our lives, everyone needs support; for some people with functional diversity, this support may be more prolonged or specific.
- Why is it important to be trained in the field of inclusion and functional diversity?
Ruth: We consider that professionals who work with young people need to be trained in the inclusion of people with functional diversity, and we need to provide strategies, resources and methodologies to generate and boost inclusive spaces. Inclusion is a complicated process that is achieved little by little, by sharing spaces and spending time with different people, acknowledging, normalising and valuing diversity.