The project addresses the problem of exclusion of people with disabilities, especially intellectual disabilities, from rural areas and small towns in Jasło district and neighbouring districts. There is a lack of long-term, comprehensive measures to activate people with intellectual disabilities in the south of Subcarpathian region. At the same time, their voice is often not heard and taken into account, their agency is limited, and they are often not free to make decisions about everyday matters. Most graduates of special schools stay at home, without work or activation activities, often isolated from their social environment.
As part of the project, a local inclusive volunteer point was set up to be co-managed by people with disabilities. Assistants (therapists, educators, parents) and people with intellectual disabilities (participants and attendees of occupational therapy from various institutions) took part in training courses on inclusive volunteering. A total of 68 people participated in the courses. Subsequently, the people with disabilities completed internships in the community or carried out advocacy activities in the form of artistic manifestations, including organising a literary meeting, making a film about their institution, and volunteering at a hippotherapy centre. At the end of the project, the partner institutions involved in the project set up an inclusive volunteering network – a place for information, announcements, a forum for discussion and exchange of ideas on inclusive volunteering. A fair with local offers of inclusive volunteering was also organised.
Through participation in the project, people with intellectual disabilities have regained agency, strengthened their social and digital competences. Their self-confidence as well as their activity and involvement in the local activities increased and they consequently became more visible in their local communities. At the same time, the assistants learned to support the independence and social involvement of people with intellectual disabilities. The project has also resulted in the promotion of inclusive volunteering as a form of social and vocational activation for people with disabilities.