Empowering Extraordinary Citizens: Enhancing Democratic Participation for Young People with Disabilities

A Comprehensive Training Programme to Promoting Democratic Participation among Young People with Disabilities

Why is democratic participation crucial for young people with disabilities? The European project “Extraordinary Citizens”, emerged in response to the pressing need to empower individuals with disabilities through active engagement in democratic processes. Recognising the systemic barriers and social stigmas faced by this demographic, the project seeks to equip professionals with the necessary knowledge and skills to facilitate inclusive participation. By fostering a deeper understanding of democratic principles and providing practical tools for engagement, Extra C aims to dismantle societal barriers and amplify the voices of young people with disabilities in decision-making processes.

In line with this commitment, the consortium of partner organizations spanning across five EU countries (Spain, Lithuania, Greece, France and Portugal) conducted a Training of Trainers at the Mafamude Parish Centre in Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal, between January 23 and 26, 2024. During this event, the “Promoting the Democratic Participation of Young People with Disabilities Training Programme Manual” was presented, to 12 trainers providing them the necessary tools to work with youth people with disabilities in the topic. The training programme consists of six modules:

  1. Human and Civil Rights of people with disabilities
  2. Democracy and Democratic Participation of people with disabilities
  3. The Main European Democratic Values
  4. A Voice in the Decision-Making Process
  5. Relationships and socio-emotional learning
  6. Participatory Actions with People with Disabilities

Module 1: Human and Civil Rights of people with disabilities focuses on instilling a profound comprehension of human and civil rights, specifically tailored to address the needs of individuals with disabilities. It delves into the intricate network of international, European, and national legal frameworks aimed at safeguarding the rights of young people facing disabilities. Moreover, it uncovers both the common challenges and best practices in ensuring the democratic rights of individuals with disabilities, thereby fostering an environment conducive to their active participation in society. Module 2: Democracy and Democratic Participation of people with disabilities explores the essence of democracy, underscoring the significance of participation in political life, especially for individuals with disabilities.

Additionally, Module 3: The Main European Democratic Values offers an insightful analysis of the main European democratic values, tracing their evolution through pivotal events and treaties that have shaped the European Union’s foundational principles. Furthermore, Module 4: A Voice in the Decision-Making Process emphasizes the pivotal role of individual voice, providing essential tools for individuals with disabilities to make informed decisions autonomously. Module 5: Relationships and socio-emotional learning aims to enhance the social and emotional competencies of young people with various disorders, facilitating effective communication. Lastly, Module 6: Participatory Actions with People with Disabilities introduces practical activities aimed at collaborative efforts to promote democratic participation among individuals with disabilities, offering diverse engagement opportunities both in-class and through outings.

To access the full Training Programme Manual, click here.

About the Project

EXTRA-C is an EU-funded project dedicated to empowering young people with intellectual, psychosocial, and developmental disabilities to actively participate in democracy. Through awareness-raising and inclusive engagement, EXTRA-C seeks to transform local, regional, national, and EU-level environments into dynamic and diverse communities where the voice of every individual is valued.

For more information about the project, please visit: https://www.extra-c-project.eu/

For media inquiries, please contact KMOP at extra-c-project@kmop.org.


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