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Studiefrämjandet's organization and assignment

Studiefrämjandet is a non-profit study organization that offers study circles and cultural events to the public. This renders financial support from the government as well as the municipalities, the only prerequisite being that we conduct non-formal education.

In the organization's governing documents it is stated that we should provide an opportunity for disabled people to participate in our events. "We adapt our operations so that different students and employees can participate on equal terms regardless of their condition"

The organization is made up of several separate units spread across the country. Each local unit has its separate economy and in most cases obtains financial support from its municipality. The amount varies across the country, which means that local units have different criteria for giving support to different organizations and associations.

Studiefrämjandet has 19 member organizations operating within the fields of animals, nature, environment and culture. A large part of our work is done together with them. In some cases, joint projects have been launched to reach out to people with disabilities. This cooperation has also meant that the different associations have revised their operations to make them more accessible to all citizens.

The main group in Studiefrämjandet's activities for disabled are individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities. Many of the participants are recruited in cooperation with local authorities, group homes and day centers.

Every leader is offered a free three-level leadership training. Leaders who will be working with people with disabilities are in some cases offered additional training and courses on topics such as interaction issues.

Conditions in Sweden

In 2015 the existing discrimination law in Sweden was tightened, and now includes a part dealing with the lack of accessibility. To be able to fully participate in society, regardless of functional capacity, is a fundamental human right. The country's municipalities have an obligation to provide assistance for the disabled, either in the form of personal assistance in the home or a place in group accommodation for those who cannot manage themselves. Those who live at home are offered daily activities run by the municipality.

Barriers to activities with disabled people

As mentioned in the introduction, the financial conditions vary greatly between the local units of Studiefrämjandet. Many see the economy as a problem when you realize that the activities for disabled are more time consuming and requires increased efforts by the staff. Also additional equipment and adaptation of the premises and literature are mentioned as an obstacle as it requires more financial resources.

The regulatory framework for the study associations' activities sometimes makes it difficult to conduct activity with disabled people because several of the participants are in day care or group homes that fall within municipal operations relying on different financing. Study association activities have to be carried out "freely and voluntarily" and may not be done in the context of other scheduled activities.

Success Factors

A key success factor is good relations with the administrative officials of the municipality. In cases where cooperation works well it has been possible to create activities which have acted as a complement to the activities that take place within the municipality's care.

Enthusiasts with great commitment is another success factor. To listen to and employ devoted leaders in the various member organizations has resulted in beneficial activities, much appreciated by participants, leaders and associations

Also, that leaders are given the opportunity of education about what disability can mean and how to interact with people with disabilities is seen as an important key to a successful activity.

In one of the examples below a bonus effect is achieved. By employing unemployed people with support from the employment service, based on their interests and knowledge of the subject and help them to arrange study circles for people with different types of disabilities. In this way, society receives a contribution on several levels.

Examples of local activities:

Studiefrämjandet in Stockholm (Nacka)

Contact: Lena Marvet, lena.marvet@studieframjandet.se

Kind of educational activity:

Outdoor activities for children and adolescents with severe Autism. The initiative came from a youth center for young people with disabilities. The aim is that all participants will get at least one friend outside the center. Along with experienced instructors, participants discover nature on its own terms. Every meeting has a particular theme. The meetings are concluded with a barbecue party where conversation and the feeling of togetherness are central.

One purpose of the project has been to open up the collaborating association to people with disabilities and the long-term goal is that participants with families will feel comfortable and welcome to become regular members. The activity has also been a starting point for Friluftsfrämjandet to review its activities and its accessibility to those who are interested.

Is the activity accessible for the whole population or only for people with disability?

Only for people with disabilities.

Is it for a specific kind of disability? If yes – please identify.

Children and adolescents with severe autism.

 

Age of participants?               11-18 years.

How many times a month?   4 times a month.

Is it formal or non-formal education?  Non-formal.

Is it education for leisure, hobby or professional skills?  Leisure.

Is it possible to find a job after this education?  It is not a professional-oriented education, but aimed more at personal development and social interaction. This might facilitate future social interactions.

Are special needs educators or personal assistance provided?

Personal assistants are provided. Course leaders have no specific knowledge about the disability itself but they have long experience within their field and know how to lead groups in an outdoor environment.

What kind of assistance?

Individually adapted. Participants have personal assistance provided by the municipality.

Are specific social services provided (i.e. transportation or similar)?

Transportation is paid for by the municipality.

Does the educator need specific materials or equipment to educate people with disabilities? It varies depending on the theme and season. Everything from spikes, rope ladders, ropes, musical instruments and refreshments.

Does the educator have a background of working with people with disabilities?

Not the educator. Personal assistants are supplied by the municipality.

Did the educator obtain his/her background in the specific learning establishment or is he/she self-learned?

Leadership introduction is provided by Studiefrämjandet. The leaders have attended various additional lectures on the theme of disability and interaction as well as meetings with other experienced leaders.

Does the activity receive state support?

State support as well as support from the municipality.

Is it paid activity? Free for participants. Education process organizing:

The project was initiated by a youth club for young people with disabilities. They turned to Studiefrämjandet and one of its member organizations, Friluftsfrämjandet, who started the activity. From the beginning, staff from the recreation center accompanied the participants, but now they have been able to take a step back. The work is done in collaboration with Haninge and Nacka municipalities. A key success factor was to find two enthusiasts who had served as leaders. They have extensive experience in outdoor activities and they connected very well with the participants.

Studiefrämjandet in Stockholm (Tullinge)

Contact: Stina Allenbäck-Degerheim, stina.allenback@studieframjandet.se

Kind of educational activity:

Cooking for people with disabilities who live in group homes. The aim is that participants should learn how to cook cheap, tasty and nutritious food that they can eat for lunch and supper. Together the group decides what to cook, create a recipe and then shop for groceries. They compare prices and discuss different aspects of food and production. After cooking the group sits down for a meal, where they are given the opportunity to talk and discuss the various issues related to the participants' lives.

 

 

Is the activity accessible for the whole population or only for people with disabilities?

Only for disabled people.

Age of participants?

Mixed ages, from 21 years to 70 years.

How many times per month?

2 times a month

Is it formal or non-formal education?

Non-formal

Is it education for leisure, hobby or professional skills?

Leisure. The course aims to give participants a healthier lifestyle by learning to cook tasty and wholesome food.

Is it possible to find a job after this education?

The goal is not directly linked to getting a job but can be seen as a possible bonus effect when the participants strengthened their confidence and get together to discuss their lives.

Are special needs educators or personal assistance provided?

No.

What kind of assistance?

Are specific social services provided (i.e. transportation or similar)?

The group homes provide transportation.

Does the educator need specific material or equipment to educate people with disabilities?

Premises adapted for the cooking class.

Does the educator have a background of working with people with disabilities?

Yes

Did the educator obtain his/her background in the specific learning establishment or is he/she self-learned?

Education externally and within the organization.

Does the activity receive state support?

Yes

Is it paid activity? Free for participants Education process organizing:

The activity was initiated by the municipality who contacted Studiefrämjandet.

The activity is conducted in cooperation with a local grocery store with access to a cooking studio.

Bonus Effects: Conversations during meals revealed stories that led to the realization that it was necessary to start a support group. Two discussion groups for girls were initiated.

Studiefrämjandet Södra Närke-Karlskoga-Degerfors

Contact: Sture Johansson, sture.johansson@studieframjandet.se

Kind of educational activity:

The department has a wide range of activities for people with disabilities. They hire unemployed people through the employment service and based on their knowledge and experience these people are trained to be leaders in study circles for people with disabilities. The activities take place in different group homes throughout seven municipalities. Activities offered include: theater, line dancing, music cafe, painting, guitar, choir and community radio broadcasting.

Is the activity accessible for the whole population or only for people with disabilities?

Only for people with disabilities living in group homes.

Is it for a specific kind of disability? If yes – please identify.

Various types of disabilities.

Age of participants?

From 21 years and up. Mixed ages.

A group aimed specifically at older people with learning disabilities is offered various activities outside their homes.

How many times a month?

It varies, 2-4 times a month is the most common.

Is it formal or non-formal education?

Non-formal.

Is it education for leisure, hobby or professional skills?

Leisure and personal development.

Is it possible to find a job after this education?

The project has no such explicit goal, however, personal development and the experience may increase the participants’ opportunitities in the long term to come into work.

Are special needs educators or personal assistance provided?

Activities carried out at the group home have access to the assistants there.

Individually adapted

Are specific social services provided (i.e. transportation or similar)?

In some cases.

Does the educator need specific materials or equipment to educate people with disabilities?

For example, guitars are constructed to suit people with disabilities.

Does the educator have a background of working with disabled people?  No

Did the educator obtain his/her background in the specific learning establishment or is he/she self- learned?

The leaders are offered leadership development programs to assist in their leadership role.

Does the activity receive state support?

Yes, the regular government funding.

Is it paid activity?

As a rule, free for participants. Some activities cost 150 SEK each time.

Education process organizing:

The department hires unemployed people with contributions from the employment service. Based on their interests and experiences they then offer various activities to residents in various group homes. Activities are conducted in cooperation with various municipalities and group homes.

A large part of the activity takes place in group homes and day centers, but sometimes also in Studiefrämjandet's premises or elsewhere without direct adaptation for disabled people.

Studiefrämjandet Norra Älvsborg

Contact: Ulrika Nyström, ulrika.nystrom@studieframjandet.se

Project: Theater circle / education for students with disabilities

Kind of educational activity

Theatrical activities with the aim of providing theater training to students with disabilities and thereby after completion of the project enabling the participants to be circle leaders or participants in theater study circles. The goal is to have participants with and without disabilities, where the common denominator is theater regardless of disabilities or not. 

The activities are in the form of study circles, study visits and the group give two performances each year.

Is the activity accessible for the whole population or only for people with disabilities? Only disabled people in the first stage. The goal is that the participants need to feel comfortable in groups with mixed people, with or without disabilities.

Is it for a specific kind of disability? If yes – please identify.

People with developmental disabilities.

Age of participants?

25-50

How many times a month?

4

Is it formal or non-formal education?

Non-formal

Is it education for leisure, hobby or professional skills?

Leisure and hobby.

Is it possible to find a job after this education?

No, it is not the purpose of the activity.

Are special needs educators or personal assistance provided?

No

Are specific social services provided (i.e. transportation or similar)?

Transportation and various facilities are provided by the municipality.

Does the educator need specific materials or equipment to educate people with disabilities? The venue needs to be adapted and made available to disabled people, such as elevator, toilet for the disabled, wide doorframes and no level differences on the floor. Also, adapting the meals procedure, take-out food were brought to the participants instead of going out for a meal. Scripts for the performances were jointly prepared in the group so that everyone got to influence and adapt according to their abilities.

Does the educator have a background of working with people with disabilities?

No. Drama teachers were given an introduction to the treatment of people with disabilities Did the educator obtain his/her background in the specific learning establishment or is he/she self-learned?

Trained drama teachers with additional training in the organization.

Does the activity receive state support?

Yes. Additional development funding from Studiefrämjandet's national association.

Is it paid activity? Free for participants. Education process organizing:

Studiefrämjandet had a project manager responsible for finance, administration, project application, project report, evaluation, marketing.

Vänersborg municipality's department "Care for the disabled" had two people who helped with the logistics of transportation and facilities, which the participants had access to during the project.

The department hired two drama teachers from a music school in Vänersborg. They led the group during two semesters and were also responsible for the implementation of the performances and the pedagogical approach of the project. 

Studiefrämjandet Småland Gotland (Kalmar)

Contact: Nicholas Murigu, nicholas.murigu@studieframjandet.se

Kind of educational activity:

An experience garden accessible to all people, regardless of disability or age is created.

The garden is built in a unique collaboration between associations, municipalities and county councils together with participants. The garden becomes a meeting place adapted for people with various disabilities and creating meetings between and within the target group which would not otherwise have taken place.

The people visiting the garden experience with all senses; sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell. Based on everyone’s ability, appropriate activities are offered that stimulate development.

Leaders are recruited in cooperation with special schools for disabled and therefore have experience working with people with special needs. Additional education will also be offered to the leaders regarding interaction and treatment of individuals with different disabilities.

Is it possible to find a job after this education?

No.

Is the activity accessible for the whole population or only for people with disabilities? Accessible to the whole population

Is it for a specific kind of disability? If yes – please identify.

All kinds of disabilities.

Age of participants?

14-100

How many times a month?

It varies.

Is it formal or non-formal education?

Non-formal

Is it education for leisure, hobby or professional skills?

Leisure

Are special needs educators or personal assistance provided?

Yes.

What kind of assistance?

Individually adapted

Are specific social services provided (i.e. transportation or similar)?

In some cases.

Does the educator need specific materials or equipment to educate people with disabilities?

Various equipment. For example an iPad is used to help people with hearing disorders.

Does the educator have a background of working with people with disabilities?

Yes

Did the educator obtain his/her background in the specific learning establishment or is he/she self-learned?

Education externally and within the organization.

Does the activity receive state support?

Yes

Is it paid activity?

Free for participants

Education process organizing:

The garden is a unique collaboration between associations, municipalities and county councils together with the participants. 

Studiefrämjandet Norrbotten

Contact: Anna-Lena Nyman,  anna-lena.nyman@studieframjandet.se

Kind of educational activity:

Hunting school for people with reading difficulties.

The regular hunting school is also offered to people with reading and writing difficulties. The literature is available as an audiobook so that people can listen instead of reading. During the lessons a lot of pictures are used and discussions are based around them. The examination procedure is also adapted and the participants can have more time and have the questions read to them. They can sit in a private room and a person is there to assist if anything is unclear. During the course, a number of tests are performed. The Hunters Association offers web-based tests, where everyone can test their knowledge during the course. They are pedagogically designed with many pictures and the results are provided immediately.

Is the activity accessible for the whole population or only for people with disabilities?  Accessible for the whole population

Is it for a specific kind of disability? If yes – please identify.  People with reading and writing difficulties

Age of participants?  15-85

How many times a month?  4-5

Is it formal or non-formal education?  Non-formal

Is it education for leisure, hobby or professional skills?

Leisure

Is it possible to find a job after this education?

No

Are special needs educators or personal assistance provided?

Yes

What kind of assistance?

Audiobooks, pictures

Are specific social services provided (i.e. transportation or similar)?

No

Does the educator need specific materials or equipment to educate people with disabilities?

Audiobooks, pictures.

Does the educator have a background of working with people with disabilities?

No

Did the educator obtain his/her background in the specific learning establishment or is he/she self-learned?

Education externally and within the organization.

Does the activity receive state support?

Yes.

Is it paid activity?

Yes, approximately 2850 SEK

Education process organizing:

The activity is conducted in cooperation with one of our member associations, The Hunting Association.