The IES has opened a new academic program on supporting people with special needs

2010-03-24 15:45

It was created on the basis of the program of the International Federation L’Arche, which has been operating successfully in France for 10 years already; however, this variant is adapted to the Ukrainian context.

This is an international, inter-university project, developed by the Institute of Ecumenical Studies of Ukrainian Catholic University, the Lviv Polytechnic National University, and the International Federation L’Arche.

The uniqueness of this program is its interdisciplinary approach to the study of various questions. That is to say, each of the six spheres of study in the program will include medical, psychological, pedagogical, social, and legal aspects. An important component is the practicum. Besides this, thematic meetings with the communities of “L’Arche-Kovcheh” and with the parents of children with special needs will be organized. Foreign specialists have been invited to give guest lectures.

Oksana Vyniarska, the pedagogical director of this program and a specialist at the instructional-rehabilitation center “Dzherelo” emphasizes that the most important thing about the program is that it places the accent on the individual, on a new understanding of the human being. “Support is not a way of pulling someone behind you, but rather giving them the choice of how they want to live,” she stated. “Our conception needs to shift from inadequate to disabled, partial ability. Because each of us has our own disability, and they unite us. And value comes only from being a human being.”