Arcada’s project “Quality of life” was presenting a poster in the EFRR Congress – European Forum for Research in Rehabilitation – which was held in Helsinki on 6-9 May 2015. The theme of the congress is “Being, Doing, Participating” referring to WHO International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health. The congress will provide shared knowledge to be used in human health, new scientific research, and for the improvement of educational efforts in rehabilitation.
The title of our presentation is Quality of life with focus on participation and social inclusion for persons with disabilities. Everyone should have the right to participate on equal basis. However, there are several structural barriers in society restricting social inclusion of people with disabilities at all ages. In Finland the third sector has an important role in supporting people with disabilities on their pathway into participation. Arcada started a project called “Quality of life” with the aim to involve students in the rehabilitation field and to develop models for participation and social inclusion for persons with disabilities.
In collaboration with Swedish speaking third sectors the students have as part of their thesis developed models for participation both on an individual and societal level. The development has been based on the needs from the organizations and their members, who as Swedish speaking Finns are minorities within a minority, and have therefore specific needs. Three topics have been in focus: 1) The right of self-determination, 2) Living and work, and 3) Supporting networks and empowering methods. The students involved represent coming rehabilitation professionals, from different occupational groups. So far the topics have included research about how persons with intellectual disabilities experience moving to an independent living, how parents cope as their youth move, employment for young adults with visual disabilities, psychosocial support for people with mental illness, a model of peer support for persons with disabilities.
The collaboration gives the students the possibilities to learn from both professionals and persons with disabilities. They also learn about the wide spectrum of the rehabilitation field, and therefore hopefully become excellent rehabilitation professionals.
//Rut Nordlund-Spiby, Marina Arell- Sundberg, Heidi Peri & Ira Jeglinsky