ENABLE Project

The ENABLE project “From Culture of Caring to Culture of Enabling: Co-produce Services for People with Intellectual Disability” has been developed through the implementation of a co-production methodology and produced, as an outcome, an Inclusive Training/Learning Platform on how to co-design, co-deliver and co-evaluate services for people with intellectual disability together with services users, families, professionals in disability and local community representatives.

The co-production methodology aims to overcome traditional approaches which tends to perceive service users as having needs that place a demand and a burden on a system which may already be overstretched. Co-production focuses on the proactive role played by those on the receiving side in order to provide opportunities for personal growth and development to people who have abilities, experiences and knowledge which can be regarded as assets in working towards common goals.

There was a strong commitment to innovation by the ENABLE partnership throughout the 2 years of project implementation. In particular, ENABLE worked to:

  • Implement an innovative methodology to address target groups and build reciprocal relationships between professionals services users and other stakeholders;
  • Bring innovation in social services design and delivery by blurring the distinction between producers and consumers in social services;
  • Provide innovative approaches to increase the awareness and competences of professionals on equity, diversity and inclusion challenges in the training environment ;
  • Bring innovation in knowledge production and knowledge transfer with the aim to reduce learning disparities for disadvantaged groups.

ENABLE objectives developed in this way allowed the partnership to:

  • Plan and deliver services together with service users, families, communities with the aim to improve the quality of life of people with Intellectual Disability
  • Enable service users and families to be equal partners in the planning and delivery of services, enhancing self-determination of the users;
  • Provide opportunities for the development and inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities.
  • Promote the development, testing, nurturing and implementation of innovative practices in the field of training and learning;
  • Promote activities that could better prepare professionals on equity, diversity and inclusion challenges in the training and learning environment

The objective of the partnership was to bring innovation in services for people with intellectual disability through the promotion of inclusive learning and the mechanism of knowledge transfer aimed at reducing learning disparities for disadvantaged groups. In this sense the partnership developed a learning and training platform to offer access to the materials developed during the implementation of the project and that show how to successfully use the co-production approach.

The co-production approach on which the ENABLE project has been developed is fundamentally rooted in addressing social injustice and inequity. Training and focus groups were approached from the standpoint of collaboration and partnerships that regard diversity and inclusion in training environments as vital assets that contribute to the richness, accessibility and effectiveness of learning and training activities. ENABLE strongly believes that the service user with intellectual disability is to be considered as an individual with unique experiences, knowledge and skills who requires access to lifelong learning and personal development opportunities on an equal basis with others.

All the activities carried out during the project implementation were guided by the following principles:

  • Providing opportunities for personal growth and development of people with intellectual disabilities;
  • Investing in strategies that develop the emotional intelligence and capacity of local communities;
  • Using peer support networks instead of just professionals as the best means of transferring knowledge and capabilities;
  • Blurring the distinction between producers and consumers of services;
  • Encouraging service providers to become catalysts and facilitators of change rather than simply providers;
  • Devolving real responsibility, leadership and authority to ‘users’ and encouraging self-organisation rather than direction from above;
  • Offering participants a range of incentives that aim to embed the key elements of reciprocity and sharing.

Discover more on www.co-production.eu/enable

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