"It is vital to implement the call for inclusion in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in international youth work, too. International youth exchange organisers and their staff carry great responsibility when it comes to ensuring more inclusion. I am hence delighted that through VISION:INCLUSiON, we have been able to provide such effective input nationally, internationally and above all in cooperation with the target groups, ensuring that international youth work activities can become more inclusive.” Caren Marks, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Youth Ministry
During the virtual conference yesterday, (international) youth work experts, representatives of disability community organisations, policymakers, researchers and other interested parties from Germany and abroad discussed how to ensure that young people with a disability or impairment can access international youth work activities with ease. Together, they reviewed the work done over the last six years.
There was quite a bit of common ground to review, given that almost everyone in the audience had been involved in one way or another in the project and contributed to its outcomes. Some had attended the interim meetings, some had been at the international youth BarCamp, while others had been members of the international working groups or were part of the project’s expert group.
This form of collaboration between young people with a disability or impairment, disability community organisations and national and international youth work experts is the first of its kind in the international youth work community – and it is what makes the resulting products so special and hands-on. Organisations that want to offer more inclusive international activities for young people will benefit greatly from the publications, which contain exercises, videos, checklists and lots of reading material.
Specifically, the VISION:INCLUSiON project has yielded two products:
To conclude the project, Karina Chupina (expert and trainer for inclusion and diversity, Russia), Marie-Luise Dreber (Director of IJAB, Germany), Elżbieta Kosek (Kreisau-Initiative e.V., Germany/Poland), Florian Kufner (German Deaf Youth), Milanka Nikolic (activist, Serbia) and Katrin Rosenthal (Aktion Mensch, Germany) joined experts from the plenary to highlight what they believe are the most significant hallmarks of successful inclusion, and not just in international youth work:
The concluding “fishbowl” discussion was the last point on the very dynamic and engaging digital agenda. In closing, all participants emphasised how important it was to keep this new international network alive. And of course they expressed their gratitude to the VISION:INCLUSiON team Ulrike Werner, Claudia Mierzowski and Christoph Bruners from IJAB. “Without you none of this would have happened!!!! You are the heart and soul of VISION:INCLUSiON!”
We are pleased to announce that the team is currently working on a MOOC (massive open online course) on the training modules. This way, as many individuals and organisations as possible can learn about inclusion whenever and wherever it suits them.