Background to the programme
The experience of members of the Association for Paralysed People in France show that the intense social isolation of handicapped people hinders their life. These people don't have the means nor the social contacts to summarize their experience to medical and social professionals. The APF delegation from Rhone (69) has therefore established a discussion group in 2011 which is, at its origin, a network of local charities aiming to encourage the inclusion of disabled people in the local area: Resol Handicap. Launched as an experiment in the 3rd arrondissement in Lyon and in Villeurban, this network has since then developed in Lyon and diversified into the urban areas around Lyon.
Objectives of the programme
- To organise a sense of togetherness and harmony with the individual's life project which is free and voluntary.
- To assure a supportive presence to each person so that they may tackle life's tests and realise their dreams.
- The supported individual participates for six months in activities which allow them to make real links with people living close by.
- The type of assistance offered is very varied and depends on the wishes of and the plan for the supported individual: to use public transport, to establish contact with local networks, to participate in a course of aquaerobics or to facilitate an entrance into community life.
Quantitative and qualitative results from the implemented actions
The "small successes" of Resol'Handicap, such as the using of public transpir, becoming member of an association or joining the Administrative Council of social centre, are massive victories for the supported individuals. They acquire the power of action, confidence in their ability to take the initiative and social recognition. This is what is needed to allow the individuals to adapt and succeed in their life without depending on other people's support.
A specific network with the following aspects:
- At the personal level: through the program the supported individual becomes a real member of his community by realising the projects identified at the beginning of the process.
- At the interpersonal level: the success of the support, through two volunteers to one service user, is characterised by an "act with" which tries to give to the supported individual a power of action over their own life.
- At the local level: some members of the town hall, little by little, become more involved in the delegation to promote a real participation of disabled people in local life, while carrying out their own projects.
Partnership(s) developed in the context of the programme
A number of partners, notably with the social centres who offer activities to people of limited means, have become involved in aiding the participation of the supported people in leisure or cultural activities in groups.
Difficulties and/or obstacles encountered during the programme’s implementation :
The human resources are a central problem: the association could only partly finance the network and as for the supported people, the recruiting and retaining volunteers is difficult (the demands of the program, the required availability and especially personal travel). This lack of human resources seriously limits the number of volunteers, the activities offered and the co-operation of local officials.
Solutions used to overcome the difficulties and/or obstacles :
To encourage this type of volunteer, Resol'Handicap has formed links with France Volunteers who have communicated their "evaluation of the skills and know-how acquirred during the volunteering experience", to help them evaluate and validate the commitment of the volunteers.
Suggestions for future improvement :
- More money is needed to improve the identification of social transformations (personal and collective), obtained by both "the supported individual and in support of people".
- The training of volunteers could be consolidated by hands on experience of the work to share the skills of the different members of the network.
- APF 69 is occasionally called upon by the local partners to support an individual who has a non-motor disability. As we can not respond adequately to the request, we form alliances with of other active associations in the same sector.
Summary of factors responsible for the programme’s success :
- The integration of handicaped people can not be done without the work of qualified individuals.
- The philosophy of this program is a process of help and reciprocated aid.
Redol'HAndicap has developed tools to assess the inclusion of supported individuals in their social environment:
- the following table of pathways, filled in with each initiative.
- a network plan and a "relationship flower": starting with the information contained in the following table, the supported individual creates his card of places visited and people "on whom he can count" identified during his itinerary, with a colour code to represent the strength of the links which he has constructed during the realisation of his stated projects at the beginning of the program.
"Recognising how to work together" « Connaitre avec pour agir ensemble » Dossier ressources 2005, Vincent Plazy, Mireille Flageul, Mission Régionale d’Information sur l’Exclusion Rhône-Alpes, 14 rue Passet, 69007 Lyon, www.mrie.org
" Working with the disadvantaged" « Agir avec les plus défavorisés », Dossier ressources 1996, sous la direction de Vincent Plazy, Mission Régionale d’Information sur l’Exclusion Rhône-Alpes, 14 rue Passet, 69007 Lyon, www.mrie.org
To know more
In setting up Resol'Handicap, 4 people were accompanied. By the end of 2011, there were 8 and in 2012, 12 of which half were repeated users of the service.
THE COORDINATION of Resol'Handicap
An employee of AFP from the delegation of Rho