Young people with disabilities (especially spinal cord paralysis) are among the most marginalized and poorest groups in any society. They face more discrimination and arduous social, economic and cultural barriers compared to individuals with other types of disability, especially in developing countries. It has also been proved in academic research that disabled youth can have the opportunity to increase their capacity and acquire skills and abilities when they participate with their non-disabled peers. They also show changes in their attitudes and behaviors. The benefits of an inclusive education program contribute not only to disabled youth, but also to the multiplication of social benefit.
Social Inclusion Program for Paraplegic Youth (SIP 4 PY) is a one-week social inclusion program for young people with spinal cord paralysis. The program is flexible, so that it can be easily used by any organization in any country. This will be achieved through day-to-day detailing of the workshops and instructor instructions. Supporting tools and technologies aim at facilitating the participation of individuals with disabilities and improving their basic functions in order to increase the welfare of the disabled person. It also acts as a support mechanism as a secondary health condition and prevents other obstacles that may occur.
The outputs of ‘’O2- Virtual Reality Applications’’ and ‘’O3 – Training Program for Social Inclusion’’ that we have produced have been tested, and the deficiencies have been determined and finalized after a one-week learning activity with the participation of spinal cord paralyzed young people and their companions with international or local participation. The program can be used with virtual reality applications and will be complementary to VR games. Following the physical improvement contribution of the applications and the experience of outdoor activities, the self-confidence of the young people will be fulfilled and the improvement of motor functions will be observed. By participating in the program, they will be able to overcome barriers such as active citizenship, social inclusion, responsibility and participation in social life.
With the program produced, participants will have a better world view of how to overcome the obstacles in front of them. By developing this training program, it is aimed to create identity, provide autonomy, establish a relationship, enable them to live a life independent from their families and facilitate their participation in education and labor force. In addition to individuals with disabilities, the benefit of actors such as NGOs, public institutions, academicians, education experts, physiotherapists working in the field is another objective. The innovative aspects of SIP 4 PY are as follows;
- Non-formal Education Based: It will have a structure based on the application and experience, including the learning process in which the spinal cord paralyzed person is at the center. The workshops, which include tools such as brainstorming, peer learning, teamwork, learning to learn, cultural and social studies, animation and evaluation, will give the participant interactive and peer learning and socialization opportunities.
- Originality: A program designed as independent and compact workshops for spinal cord paralyzed or disabled individuals and prepared with non-formal education methods is not available in our country or EU countries.
- Independence and Integrity: The total duration of the workshops will be 1 week and each of the workshops constituting this whole, will be suitable to be applied separately. It offers significant flexibility in terms of time, cost and human resources.
- Complementarity of 3D Mobile Applications: Our workshops and VR applications will be designed to complement each other and to achieve the same goal. So these two outputs can be implemented in the same program.
- Easy Usability: In the following sections, with the help of instructor and facilitator guides that can be seen in detail, institutions or individuals will be able to see how this program can be applied to the smallest detail, and they will be able to apply the parts of the program to their target audiences through the simple preliminary studies and works.
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