The ‘IMPULSA’ program fights to improve the quality of life of workers with intellectual disabilities

The ‘IMPULSA’ program fights to improve the quality of life of workers with intellectual disabilities

Between August and December 2020, the second edition of the “IMPULSA personalized support program for people with intellectual disabilities” was successfully developed, a continuity project that promotes autonomy, independence and the quality of life of people. intellectual disabilities. Launched by FUNDACIN JUAN XXIII for workers at its Special Employment Center, it is a preventive, educational and “person-centered” support program.

After more than 50 years working for the social and professional inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities and / or mental illness, through this great initiative, FUNDACIN JUAN XXIII has managed to benefit more than 50 workers from its workforce between 18 and 65 years old. . In fact, the number of participants this year has been increased to double from last year, when Impulsa first launched.

The project was again funded by the Councilor for Social Policies, Families, Equality and Birth of the Community of Madrid within the framework of the call for grants for the implementation of programs of general interest in for purposes of social interest. With a charge of 0.7% of the return on personal income tax.

Using a participatory methodology, the project was developed in three areas: training with workshops scheduled for learning and / or training certain skills; personalized support à la carte to meet the support needs of workers in different contexts (family home, community, etc.); and inclusive leisure activities and free time, which allow them to share group or individual experiences.

To protect participants and their families as a result of the pandemic situation, much of the one-on-one supports had to be provided in the homes and community settings of these individuals. In order to mitigate the effects of containment, moreover, certain concrete actions had to be implemented within Impulsa. For example, the Strategic Plan for Digital Literacy, created with the aim of teaching the use of technological devices to promote participants’ social connections and expand their computer literacy.

On the other hand, due to the quarantine, the need to implement actions of cognitive stimulation and emotional well-being of the participants was also created. By introducing technological cognitive training tools such as GNPT, an online cognitive stimulation and rehabilitation platform suitable for people with intellectual disabilities, their motivation and cognitive functioning could be encouraged during the development of Impulsa.

Despite the situation, in the recreation area, for its part, as a novelty, it was possible to carry out a theater workshop in the Sala Off Latina, thanks to the collaboration of the ON de la fragua y la Lune project. There, participants were able to rehearse and practice their acting skills in a real and inclusive environment, and even later attend plays in this room.

Furthermore, in this same area, special promotion of sport has also been carried out. To do this, the First “Impulsa Cycling Club” was created, with routes every Sunday, and the First “EEC football team” as part of the project, with the collaboration of the Galapagar Club which donated the sports equipment. .

Thanks to the implementation of these actions at Impulsa, it was possible to improve the self-esteem of the participants and, similarly, their quality of life during these pandemic months. An example of this is how the satisfaction rating of participants who responded to the evaluation survey stands at 9.57.

In the words of Blanca Berrio, psychologist at FUNDACIN JUAN XXIII and responsible for the Impulsa project: “Without a doubt, the implementation of this project during the pandemic was a great challenge for the professional team and an important adaptation effort. for participants. and families, but with a lot of teamwork, commitment and enthusiasm, the goals were successfully achieved, and people were able to rely on motivation to overcome the difficulties of the social situation, including improving their quality of life, and the quality of their loved ones. Also this year, despite the circumstances, it was possible to continue to develop inclusive actions in the community, which allowed participants to expand the social network and give greater visibility to the group of people with intellectual disabilities. “.

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