Education and disability, two patterns for comparison

by Laura Zambrini - 2011.09.22
Education and disability, two patterns for comparison
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The German Ministry for Labour and Social Affairs has recently published the “Berufsbildungswerke”, an interesting handbook concerning vocational training programmes for disabled people.

Such a vade mecum shows that the professionalization programmes for young disabled people are very well structured. On the one hand, indeed, they focus on professional training. On the other, they provide a number of services supporting those who, all over the country, decide to take part in them. From the handbook, indeed, it emerges that the teams of professionals disabled people come into contact with are made not only of teachers and trainers, but also of doctors, psychologists, sociologists and pedagogists.

Disabled people can choose among 240 different types of jobs and, during their path of professional and personal growth, are constantly tutored by experts.

In Italy the situation is a bit more complex. While in Germany, indeed, this kind of service is specifically dedicated to vulnerable groups (disabled people in this case), Italy has made another choice. Almost throughout the country disabled people do not have specific training courses but take part in traditional courses, following therefore the logic of the integration with other students.

There exist many positive opinions concerning both methods and the Italian regions, which have the legal competence on that matter, have chosen to integrate disabled people in every educational and vocational domain.

The educational function is managed mostly by private institutions (both profit and non-profit organisations) according to regional regulations, and training courses for disabled people are funded by the European Social Fund.

Unlike German centres, in the Italian ones there are no doctors or psychologists as part of the working teams. Those who work in the Italian training centres have multiple competences and do not focus only on their educational role. They take part in more refresher courses, especially those who have to support disabled people.

However, the main difference between Germany and Italy is that in Italy, in the sector of professional training for disabled people (as well as in other domains) there is no harmonization because, as previously observed, the competence on this matter is given to regions. Therefore, the situation varies from one region to another. On this point, Germany is much more coordinated because the “Berufsbildungswerke” is indistinctly present throughout the country.

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