New Paths to Inclusion Network partners, SWAB and QUIP, from Slovakia and the Czech Republic respectively, organised a joint meeting last month for the person-centred planning learning community in Olomouc, Czech Republic.

Fifty professionals, parents and self-advocates participated in the event which was split into three different parts.

Firstly, parents were given the opportunity to share their ideas about the ‘One page profile’ system and how that supports inclusion of pupils with disabilities in regular schools. Mother, Lenka, presented the case of her son, Toník, who participated in the meeting and was described as being very active and found friends in a club of young tourists despite having autism. Following his passion for the outdoors and nature, he was accepted for some trips and overnight-stays without assistance from others. Veronika also explained how the ‘One page profile’ helped her son Jeník to get the support he required for his studies.

The second part centred around the role of person-centred practice in independent living. The example of a young man from Slovakia was presented to participants to highlight the issue.

Finally, participants were given an insight into the process of the deinstitutionalisation of children with disabilities and the changes they go through for person-centred planning.

Over the course of the meeting, participants were invited to work and share ideas in smaller groups. They prepared posters on how to achieve inclusion for all. The organisers received hugely positive feedback and the decision has since been made to continue the practice of co-operative Czech-Slovak meetings in the future.

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