A seminar, as defined by the Youth in Action programme, belongs to Action 4.3: Networking and Training activities. These activities include projects promoting exchanges, cooperation and training in the field of youth work. It will be developed with a view to implementing an Activity which supports capacity-building and innovation among promoters, as well as the exchange of experience, expertise and good practices among those who are involved in youth work

A Seminar is an event organised to provide a platform for discussion and exchange of good practices, based on theoretical inputs, around a chosen theme or themes which are relevant to the youth work field.

Youth workers of VIEWS International participated in 2 seminars and one conference so far.

Extrait du Views Info Septembre 2008 :

Conference Report: Empowerment and participation of people with disabilities: inclusion in higher education and employment

A conference organised by the Lithuanian National Union of Students (LSS), financed by the European Youth Foundation (EYF), and held in Vilnius, from September 29th till October 2nd, 2008.

The main objective of this conference was to present higher education accessibility for impaired people, as well as to exchange and to spread information about higher education accessibility for disabled people and inclusion into the labour market in different countries.

The participants were specialists, working with disabled youngsters from Germany, Romania, Slovenia, Finland, Bulgaria, Belgium, United Kingdom, France, Croatia, etc.

Anca David and Loredana Dicsi, representing VIEWS, testify: “We attended many interesting presentations, concerning people with disabilities and their situation in different countries. Most appreciated was the presentation by professor Alan Hurst from the University of Central Lancashire, UK, who mentioned the fact that disability is a matter that concerns everyone of us.

When speaking about disabled persons we should use the concept of “equity” rather than the concept of “equality”. That means that we should consider treating persons according to their individual needs. Also, not all disabilities are “obvious” or declared; in those cases, we should pay more attention to people and their individual needs.

We did also two presentations: Loredana did a presentation on “Higher Education support for visually impaired students in the French part of Belgium”. It was focused on the help offered at the Université Catholique in Louvain-la-Neuve. Anca did a presentation on “VIEWS and its main activities in the framework of nonformal education”.

During the conference, we visited a higher education institution, namely the Mykolas Romeris University of Vilnius. We were very nicely surprised to find a proper place to study for students, but at the same time the adaptations made for students with disabilities were not sufficient (e.g. no visual marks on staircases) or not operational (e.g. there was a very well adapted computer in the library, but no visually impaired student was using it). However, we’ve met some authorities of the University who seemed open to hear our suggestions and this is why we think that things will move into the right direction for disabled students.”

Loredana was impressed by one of the German institutions, The Center for Visually impaired students from the university of Karlsruhe. There students are aided from the start of their studies till they find a job. Many disabled students with a proper assistance manage their studies very well, but from my point of view, and I am sure that I am not the only one to think so, after studying many of us have difficulties to find a job.

It is very important, as disabled people, that a structure assists us to find a job and helps employer to gain confidence in disabled students and why not consider them as potential employees. The university offers students counceling, adaptation of documents, assistance etc.
More information about the center

More information about the conference in Vilnius

Sports for Everyone

Budapest, 26-30 November 2008

The “Lass” association, created in 2006, tries to offer a wide range of leisure sports to visually impaired people above 12 years of age and includes sighted people as well to sensitize the public at large.

The purpose of this seminar was to gather all good practices from the participating countries and share tips and tricks between visually impaired athletes.

In the mornings, participating countries: Belgium (Flanders and Wallonia), Bulgaria, Finlande, Hungary, Italy, Norway, Poland, Sweden and the USA presented a wide range of sports: Caving, Chess, Diving, Nordic Walking, Running, Show-Down (an adapted version of Ping-Pong) and Wind-Surfing. Questions were always welcome and answered.

In the afternoons, hands-on sessions were organized for participants to test caving, a walk in the dark, Ice skating, and Show-Down matches.

In the evenings, intercultural activities and informal discussions led to fruitful contacts with Conny Nygren, a fervent promoter of Show-Down around the world and active in a rehabilitation center for VI people in Sweeden. Laureen Libermann teaches future physical education teachers and organizes yearly camps in Guatemala and the USA for VI children from 9 to 18 years old where they can try about 10 different sports. Researchers in visual impairement are welcome and find there many potential subjects.

Volunteers, visually impaired or not, even from abroad are very welcome, especially if they intend to organize a similar camp in their country.

Severine Renard and Benoit Thiry were representing Views International. Severine presented VIEWS activities as well as her experience as a long-distance runner and tandem-biker.

It was Benoit’s first exposure to the visually impaired world and he enjoyed it thoroughly.

He wishes to continue helping VIEWS, especially around Mons, Belgium, and if he got some help, would love to organise a multi-sport camp for VI youngsters in Belgium.

All in all, this seminar was very uplifting and reassuring as to the possibilities offered to visually impaired individuals to engage in various sports activities both on a regular basis in their countries or during their vacations.

Good practices concerning youth information as a strategy to include young sensory impaired people.

This was the title of a seminar that took place in Murcia (Spain) from the 26th to the 28th of February 2009. Loredana and Anca represented VIEWS International. Other participants included associations specialised in visual or auditive disabilities and public organisations from Argentina, Belgium, Columbia, Ecuador, France (among which VIEWS France), Italy, Mexico and of course Spain.

The project is three folds: after the Seminar in Murcia, a youth Exchange will take place in Cuenca (Ecuador) and finally an evaluation activity in Cartagena (Columbia).

The project aims at analysing, and when possible eliminating the obstacles that youngsters with sensory impairements face, when they wish to access information specifically relevant to young people. Ideally, any kind of discrimination should be abolished by using appropriate strategies to dissiminate the information. Underlying this wish, is the idea that if youngsters could more easily access information pertaining to their interests, they would be more involved in public affairs, and express their capacities as active and responsible citizens.

By promoting accessibility, the actors of this project will improve their organisations’ development, by ensuring participation of a minority group: people with a sensory impairement.

At the seminar each country shared its good practices concerning sensory disabled people, focussing mainly on young adults. VIEWS introduced its youth exchanges, the adapted EVS, and the future capital project of Anca and Loredana that made accessible the information about the youth in action program (the movie: “another point of view”, leaflets, information sessions etc.).

The remainder of the seminar was devoted to group activities to prepare the second phase of the project: the youth exchange in Cuenca.

We decided that the target group will consist of sensory disabled youngsters (visual and auditory) and non-disabled people. The Youth Exchange will take place this summer and will last ten days (travel time included), but the dates are not yet fixed. The eight national groups will be composed by eight people.

The rest of the preparations will be done locally and the coordination of the national groups will be done by e-mail.