In May 2014, my colleague Vera Sokol had the opportunity to go to Belfast and meet a few of the members of EPSA. During the meeting several self-advocates gave their opinions and suggestions in relation to the topic of ‘inclusive training’. I was unable to participate in this enriching experience as I myself was giving birth to my little son Leo.
I felt sorry for missing out on this fantastic event, and felt sorry again for not being able to attend the following meeting at Sesimbra, Portugal, where I could have enjoyed the company of our project partners while reflecting on the topic by the sea.
But, honestly, I would not want to change places with my colleague. While she collected all the important input for the handbook on ‘How to conduct an inclusive training, I was having, and still am having the best time of my life. Giving birth was the most intense experience in my life so far, but at the same time it has given me the greatest chance to grow, particularly in the so called 'heart-area.' The New Paths to Inclusion project is based on the U-theory, which emphasizes the importance of an open mind, an open heart and an open will, and I am certain I will be able to use my personal growth process for the project and our contribution.
The handbook has also been subject to a continuous growth. The results of the questionnaires of the Person-Centred Planning (PCP) trainings in four countries (Croatia, Slovakia, Spain and Romania) and the above-mentioned opinions and suggestions have been incorporated in the guidelines. The guidelines will be further developed into a handbook next year.
But work goes on, just as Leo keeps growing and discovering new things every day, and we still ask our partners and especially the trainers for their contribution - we need good and bad examples of training methods and materials so we can offer our readers and users a good idea of how to make their trainings more inclusive.
As well as developing this handbook, we are also starting to design the training module on the same topic. The module will be conducted on 16th and 17th April 2015 and it is aimed at those who have been involved in the project or in PCP-courses.
All I can say is that there is still a lot to do, a path to follow and a lot to learn on both sides - to advance on the subject and to keep ourselves growing!