Information about the meetings

The first meeting:






Supported employment service

Participants – representatives of the organizations :


The meeting agenda:

The main purpose of the three-day meeting was an exchange of experiences and practices  about supported employment service on the project’s partner countries.

During the first day of the meeting, representatives of the organizations had the opportunity to present themselves and their organization and to integrate.

A representative of the Czech organization RYTMUS shared their knowledge about how to get new employers for cooperation.

They talked about their “Business for Breakfast” meetings, where they are showing up what supported employment service is and encourage employers to employ people with intellectual disabilities.

Moreover, the representatives of the Slovakian organization plan to build the BIVIO Center, where people with intellectual disabilities will gain work experience.

Within the BIVIO Center will be created units such as hotel, restaurant and laundry. Persons with intellectual disabilities will be prepared to perform professions such as chef, waiter / waitress and maid.

On the second day, representatives of partners organizations familiarized themselves with the principles of implementing the RESPID project and visited the Warsaw Center for Vocational Advisory and Support of Persons with Intellectual Disability – DZWONI Center, where they spoke to Miss Anna Anielak (DZWONI CENTER client) and her job coach – Mrs Magdalena Olczak-Jagodzińską.

On the third day, all participants in the RESPID project participated in the XL Symposium organized by PSONI, where the DZWONI Center celebrated the 10th anniversary.

The theme of the XL Symposium was Supported employment as an opportunity for better quality of life – 10 years of experience of DZWONI Center.

At the Symposium, international guests were invited, such as:

  • Chrysty Lynch from Ireland
  • Fabrizo Fea from Italy
  • Judith Hollenweger from Switzerland

Participants from Slovakia and Czech Republic were invited to participate in the discussion panel, where they talked about supported employment services provided in their countries.

Presentations from the meeting

More information can be found in the presentation on the supported employment service run by Rytmus: RYTMUS – Supported Employment

More information about the DZWONI Center managed by PSONI can be found in the presentation: PSONI – Supported Employment

More information about the supported employment service in Slovakia can be found in the presentation prepared by ZPMPvSR “Supported employment in Slovakia”: ZPMPvSR – Supported Employment

More information about supported employment service in Italy provided by S.I.I.L. Servizio SERVIZIO INTEGRATO INSERIMENTO LAVORATIVO – INTEGRATED SUPPORT FOR WORK INCLUSION: S.I.I.L – Supported Employment

The second meeting:


Prague, Czech Republic




Support for people with intellectual disabilities in a supported living arrangement.

Participants – representatives of the organizations :

The meeting agenda:

The main purpose of the two-day meeting was exchanging experiences and practices between project partner about supported living arrangement in the partner countries

During the second meeting, hosts from Czech Republic, presented the process of deinstitutionalization launched in 2010 in their country.

Representatives of the administration of Karlove Vary region, having raised funds from the European Social Fund, invited the RYTMUS organization to start the process of deinstitutionalisation. Thanks to this, people living in the Social Assistance Houses were able to live in supported living arrangements (self-contained apartments, where customers are supported by personal assistants from RYTMUS).

RYTMUS is currently supporting 35 people who use protected housing in 7 cities in the Karlove Vary region.

A couple of people with intellectual disability , who are participating in the deinstitutionalisation program, also took part in the meeting.

They talked about their live as a married couple and common residence.

Another important point of the meeting was the discussion about neighbors’ involvement in supported living people with intellectual disability. It has been discussed how, for example, neighbors can provide natural supportto people with intellectual disabilities who live independently.

At the end of the meeting, representatives of the Italian organization IL CERCHIO spoke about how they support silent people and people with communication difficulties in acquiring the skills of everyday life.

Presentations from the meeting

Information on the purpose of supported living services, group of supported people, Rytmus supported living team, service characteristics, support areas and working methods can be found in the presentation entitled “Supported living arrangement”: Supported living arrangments – RYTMUS

An example of the “success story” of solutions used by Rytmus as part of the support living service is the story of Jachek marriage from Cheb. Both of them once lived in residential institutions and nowadays they are married and are living in an independent apartment. In the presentation prepared with the support of Rytmus, Mrs. and Mr. Jachek talks about the cooperation with family and social enviroment, Empowerment of clients: Our story Mrs & Mr Jachek

PSONI presented an example of solutions used by PSONI’s branch in Gdańsk, where adults with intellectual disabilities live in the Supported Housing Facility (SHF). SHF was opened in 2007. The presentation “Supported Housing Facility” contains information about the team of employees and the functions of the Personal Assistance Workers, main goals of support, Individual Activity Plans, procedures for solving difficult situations:

ENG Supported Housing Facility – PSONI Gdańsk ENG

PLSupported Housing Facility – PSONI Gdańsk PL

IL CERCHIO good practices for independent living mean creation of training paths and teaching creation and use of AAC tools allowing people with ID to visualize tasks for an independent living plan. The description of the AAC methods used by IL CERCHIO can be found in the presentation ”AAC tools and techniques”: IL CERCHIO – AAC tools and techniques

The third meeting:


Ravenna, Italia




Theme 1: “Relationship with parents of persons with ID”

Theme 2: “After us. Life management of persons with ID after death of parents”

Participants – representatives of the organizations :

The meeting agenda:

The main purpose of the three-day meeting was an exchange of experiences and practices  about the relationship with parents/relatives of persons with ID and management of mourning and autonomy of persons with ID after

26th April 2017
During the first day, after a management session conducted by Lead partner PSONI, all partner visited the consortium Selenia, where the representatives of the structure presented the experience of the mixed advisory committee, that includes educators, therapists and parents of services adult users. Representatives of parents is a guarantee for the quality of services and express a continuous participation in personalised path for their sons.
After, partners visited “reciprocaMente” center, specialised in AAC, augmentative and alternative communication, namely that group of knowledge, techniques, strategies and technologies aimed at simplifying and increase communication for people with communication difficulties, mainly in oral and written language .
This approach has the objective of creating real opportunity for communication and effective involvement of the person; so it has to be flexible and tailor made for the person.
Partners could learn about some of the tools that are used and good practices of AAC. The center “reciprocaMente” is in via cassino 79 Ravenna Italy, cdf.ilcerchio@gmail.com27th April 2017
working at the tableDuring the second day each partner presented their experience, supported by statistical data and case studies, underlining good practices and criticalities on the subject “Relationship with parents”.Concerning Italy, but also other countries are aligned, have been underlined some key features:

  • The role of families in life project of the person with ID;
  • Alliance among therapists and parents;
  • Educational pact between service provider and family;
  • Training for parents;
  • “Global project of life”;
  • Dissemination and sensitization of clinical practice of AAC in all life contexts for the person with ID and his/her family, home educational services.

During the day some interviews have been made to parents of persons with ID users of services provided by social cooperatives in Ravenna, among them:

  • Noemi Cornacchia, presidente di ANGSA Ravenna (National association of parents of people with Autistic spectrum disorders) and mother of a boy with this disease, that told her story of fights for rights of persons affected by this disease;
  • Simone’mother, he is a user of daycare service in La Girandola – Il Cerchio, the guy is supported by AAC service. She has told her experience of full involvement in the elaboration of life project of her son and difficulties met along the way;
  • in the end, Lia Pozzi of consortium Selenia, has presented the project Faro and specificly the story of Sara, a teenager of 15 years old with ID, and of her path through social autonomy supported by educational intervention of the consortium.

28th April 2017
group of people listeningDuring the third day, each partner has presented experiences – always supported by statistical data – and criticalities connected to the 2nd theme “After us”. Concerning this theme has emerged that the situation in the 4 partners’ countries is quite different. In Italy, with the new Law 112/2016, is foreseen a simplified path to activate experiences and projects on this theme, but the cultural gap concerning independent living of the person with ID is still big and complex to be filled, mainly when parents are still live and do not want leave their sons face everyday life difficulties.
Different is the situation in other countries, where norms and laws are not so advanced, but where cultural approach is more centered on the person independence and as a consequence also concerning life of sons with ID.

Presentations from the meeting

Subject 1 – Cooperation with parents

Full presentation of Rytmus good practice experience: Cooperation with parents – RYTMUS

More information on PSONI’s cooperation with parents you will find in presentation “PSONI – cooperation with parents”: Cooperation with parents – PSONI

Subject 2 – Process of mourning

Complete Example of Petr story. Grief of people with intellectal disability. See presentation: Success Story – Petr

In Italy there are good news about this theme, they mainly come from the approval of the National law nr. 112/2016 «After Us». See presentation “After us” prepared by IL CERCHIO: After us – IL CERCHIO

Link to PSONI’s presentation on the subject of “Support in the process of mourning after parents’ death: Process of mourning – PSONI


The fourth meeting:






Parenthood of people with intellectual disability

Participants – representatives of the organizations :


The meeting agenda:

The main purpose of the two-day meeting was an exchange of experiences and practices in the area of parenthood of people with intellectual disability within the partner organizations.

Thursday 22nd June 2017:Welcoming. Meeting took place in PSONI’s Main Board office in Warsaw. Participants were welcomed by Mrs. Barbara Abramowska, Director of PSONI’s Main Board office. Mrs. Abramowska was speaking about ratification and implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities. Polish  government while ratification had raised objections:

  • article 12 (concerning legal capacity),
  • article 23 paragraph 1 letter a & b (right to marriage and to found a family, sexual education)
  • article 25 paragraph 1 letter a (medical care including secual health)

Integration, energizer time (Pavla & Lenka). Lenka and Pavla has prepared a game for all participants. We were describing nice/pleasant events from our private life that hapenned after our last meeting in Ravenna.


ZPMP v SR presentation on parenthood of persons with intellectual disabilities in Slovakia
Jana described situation of a mother (Mrs. A) with intellectual disability from the perspetive of her mother (grandmother of the child). Mrs. A is living with her mother, she needs assistance of her family in daily activity. After graduating from special school she found a job. When she got pregnant it was the non-formal support of her family (mother and sisters) that was the most helpful. Mother of Mrs. A played a role of her personal assistant (searching for information, facilitating contact with medical personel etc.). They suffered from the lack of formal support, in Slovakia there is no legislation providing support for people in this situation. When Mrs. A gave birth doctors suspected that her daughter could have autism. The process of intense rehabilitation began. Now her daughter is 18 years old, they all live together (grandmother, mother, daugther). Most significant issues Mrs. A and her family had to face: lack of formal support; lack of personal assistance; prejudice; bad experience in the court during the process of determination the paternity.

PSONI presentation on parenthood of persons with intellectual disabilities in Poland

Topics discussed:

  • Poor access to sexual education in Poland;
  • Izabela Fornalik – pioneer in the sexual education of people with intellectual disability, publications, manuals
  • example of a project aimed at providing sexual education of adults with intellectual disability; manuals in Easy-To-Read format
  • legislation (obstacles in getting married for people with ID in Poland; legal incapacitation)
  • study on motherhood of women with ID;
  • study on the experience of adult children of mothers with ID;
  • family assistance as a tool to provide support for parents with ID;

Complete presentation entitled “Parenthood of people with intellectual disability” with information on sexual education, legislation, researches on motherhood and services provided by PSONI can be found here: Parenthood – PSONI

Meeting with Mr. Jan Szot (member of PSONI branch in Rymanów) + support person Mr. Salvatore Di Pasquale

Mrs. Jan Szot is an employee of Vocational Activity Centre in Rymanów Zdrój (south-east of Poland). He was talking about: his path to employment; his relationship with wife (she’s working in the same Centre), their wedding; support they receive from their relatives and from the local community; his responsibilities as a father. Interesting  part of his speech was about financial support the couple receive as employees of Vocational Activity Centre from Activity Fund (interest-free loans, co-financing of rehabilitation).

The good example – Success story – of parents with intellectual disability supported by PSONI in Rymanów Zdrój is presented here “Parenthood of people with intellectual disability. Support for Szot family”:

ENG Success Story – Szot family ENG

PL Success Story – Szot family PL

 IL CERCHIO presentation on parenthood of persons with intellectual disabilities in Italy.Topics discussed:

  • Examples of sexual education designed for youth with ID provided by Il Cerchio (self-knowledge, communication and social competences, body knowledge, hygiene);
  • assistance for pregnant women and parents provided by social cooperatives, homecare services (training, tutoring, evaluation of parents comepetences)
  • social sevices can decide for temporary of permanent custody (when child is not secure with parents)
  • Cognitive behavioral training through the use of CAT Kit.
  • Sexual assistance in Italy, “Lovegiver” association

Complete information on general situation in Italy, partners experience, phases of intervention, method of sexual education, training of social abilities, use of cognitive tool “CAT Kit”, sexual assistance can be found in the presentation “Intellectual disability and sexuality”: Perenthood – IL CERCHIO

Friday 23th June 2017:

RYTMUS presentation on parenthood of persons with intellectual disabilities in Czech Republic.

Topics discussed:

  • “Love, life and frienship” – Europe in Action conference, June 2017 (
  • research on formal support for parents with ID, study conducted by a member of Rytmus from West Bohemia region. Issues affecting mothers with ID: attitides of their family; health of their child; material/financial resources; attitide of social workers, health proffesionals; self-knowledge, readiness for maternity).
  • Story of Jana, mother with intellectual disability, description of services provided by Rytmus (preparation for birth, preventing of the forced adoption, legal assistance)
  • on-line education publications for parents with intellectual disability (;
  • sexual assistance in Czech Republic, trailer of a documentry about sexual assistance “Love me if you can” (link:

Complete RYTMUS presentation entitled “What kind of support to the parents with intellectual disability need?” can be found at the following link: Parenthood – RYTMUS

Summary of the presentations, discussion 

Most significant “findings” listed by participants:

  • Activity Fund as a form of financial support;
  • Differences in the aceptance of social roles of people with intellectual disability (role of the employee is accepted, role of a parent is denied);
  • importance of conducting researches, studies (experience of adult children of mother with ID);
  • importance of showing good examples eg. story of Mr. Jan Szot from Rymanów Zdrój, Poland;
  • to provide the support in decision making;
  • role of NGO’s that are helping to change the approach of formal authorities and public;
  • “Family assistant” – formal service (good idea, but also a challenge);
  • supporters has to be open-minded to find solutions.

Implementation of the project (Anna)Second part of the day partners spent to discuss and agree on project activities

  • Interim report was accepted by National Agency on 12.06.2017;
  • Evaluation questionnaire distributes during the meeting in Ravenna – results, remarques:
  • Communication – well evaluated, best tools to communicate – mail and skype
  • Management – weak points: partners are not using project proposal when preparing activities; dissemination of project on the international level
  • Outcomes – strong point: materials are accurate, quality is ok, they are releant accordind target groups and aims of the project; weak ponit – punctuality of delivering the outcomes;
  • Suggestions to improve management and involvement: a) more interactive actions during project meetings; b) more structured look of presentations – same quality; c) better task distribution, giving full responsibility to partners; d) partners should be more involved in creation of the scheme of data collection
  • Website – translations to national languages. Partners agreed that content from PARTNERS, ABOUT THE PROJECT, MATERIALS, Easy-To-READ, CONTACTS will be translate into all languages. Content MEETINGS will be available only in English (excluding translations allready made)


The fifth meeting:


Bratislava, Slovakia




“Organization of leisure time persons with ID”

Participants – representatives of the organizations :

The meeting agenda:

The main purpose of the three-day meeting was an exchange of experiences and practices about leisure time activities of people with ID. How can people with ID manage their spare time. What kind of possibilities they have, what support (from assistants, parents, specialists, friends, community, doctors and others) they need. How all participants and their organizations try to involve community into help people with ID to gain more autonomy in the leisure time field.

27th of September 2017

The fifth and the last project meeting in Slovakia was a part of the conference named: Cultural activities of people with intellectual disability which organized ZPMP on this occasion. During the first day, after a management session conducted by Lead partner PSONI, all partners presented their situation and case studies. Partners from Slovakia invited young woman with ID named Henrieta, to present her life and free time activities. She spoke for herself. She lives in supported living in Bratislava. She manages her free time activities by herself. She is very independent and always tries to find way how to do, what she likes. She is talented singer, writes poetry, contributes articles in the magazine “TO SME MY”. She has personal assistant who helps her with all her interests and she is a good example of independent person. The general situation in Slovakia is that ID persons who stay in houses of social services have to accommodate to what the service offers. It doesn’t look for individual needs.

5th meeting participants

Partners from Czech Republic presented their work in Rytmus: individual planning – client make his own decisions about what he wants to do, what he likes, where he can go and so on. Rytmus helps people also with schedule making, looking for assistant by asking people from community if they can accompany ID person. If the ID person cant say what does he like, they try to ask people who know this person and find out, what are his needs and wishes. There is several options how to provide the support – individual approach, accompany ID persons to the activities and reach people from the community to help ID persons. Seeking for common interests. Polish partners presented interesting case study about Magdalena. She attended occupational therapy workshop. Now she has a job, she takes care about garden near the social centre. The training flat experience taught her stay home alone sometime. She was emotionally unstable, but it changed in work. She taught how to control herself. We watched movie which she prepared about her travels. Ula from PSONI said some good practices what they use in Occupational Therapy workshop – supervision session (person from outside talking to therapists about solutions). Anna from PSONI, was talking about social skills laboratory which helps to develop social competences. Good practices: organizing events, Friday outside, Friday community meeting, group trips, support groups. Italian partners were talking that they have a lot of projects which are provided by daily centres or residential centres. But the problem is that the educator decides what to do, where they will go so there is no choice for ID persons. PSONI’s presentation entitled “Leisure time, decision making, establishing social contacts” available here: Leisure time – PSONI

28th of September 2017

During the second day all partners joined the conference programme. The aim of the conference was to provide participants and people who actively support the cultural activities of people with intellectual disabilities a space for sharing information and experience, establishing new contacts and networking. The benefit of the conference will be the opportunity to present the diversity of cultural activities for people with intellectual disabilities in Slovakia and to inspire each other.

5th meeting 2nd day

All partners also actively participated in the second block of the conference programme and presented how their organisations deal with situation about free time and autonomy of people with ID. Each partner had a special presentation for the conference. The main program was followed by an informal banquet where all partners met self-advocates and specialists from cultural and leisure time area.

29th September 2017

During the third day, we visited ZPMP office in the city center and we have discussed good practices, challenges, barriers and recommendations. We talked about suggestions for improvement. What can I improve in my personal work. What our organisations can change, or do better to make people with ID live their free time more independently. At the end of the meeting Anna chose a relaxing activity where we wrote each other on paper what we like about other partners. It was a nice ending of the last meeting.

After lunch, Anna made evaluation of the project. We summarized meeting in Bratislava and talked about what things we need to finished before the end of the project.