Assistance and Care Centers (ACC) are institutions dedicated to different sorts of aid. Main beneficiaries of ACCs are people in difficult family situations, physically and/or mentally disabled people, homeless and unemployed, socially excluded, and misfitted. Assistants, trainers, teachers, therapists use different methods and approaches to provide help and relief. One of the
the most recognized methods is occupational therapy (OT).
The OT is a form of rehabilitation dedicated to disabled people. It involves participation in artistic workshops, mobility exercises, and integration activities. Its aim is to increase the efficiency of manual, intellectual, and physical abilities of attendants. Participation in occupational therapy is important for the psyche of people with disabilities - allows them to forget about their own limitations, develops sensitivity, builds self-esteem and adapts to life in society. The OT is a treatment and rehabilitation by means of specific actions, activities and jobs that can have an educating and therapeutic value.
The roots of OT are reaching back into ancient ages. In 18th-century Europe the OT was rediscovered for the needs of reformed hospital system. The Arts and Crafts movement that became popular at the turn of the 19th/20th century also impacted occupational therapy. Arts and crafts were utilized as a way of promoting learning through doing and provided an outlet for creative energy and a way of avoiding the boredom that was associated with long hospital stays, both for mental and physical illnesses. The OT proved its utility value when it came to treatment of both World Wars veterans, suffering physical injuries as well as mental trauma.
This broad spectrum of OT practice allows occupational therapists to work in many different settings, work with many different populations and reach many different results.
An occupational therapist works systematically through a sequence of actions known as the occupational therapy process, which is dynamic and adjustable to specific, individual requirements.
The aim of the project is to develop training materials helpful in therapeutic processes based on ergotherapy - the therapy through the work. The training materials mainly in form of video tutorials, serving as the ground for therapeutic work, will use elements of vanishing professions and activities performed by craftsmen, working in such occupations as leather craft, saddlery, wickerwork, macramé and rope making (and/or others indicated in the need analysis). As the result of the project, the therapists will obtain materials helpful while creating the model of occupational therapy based on the traditional handicrafts requiring manual activity, which can be precisely tailored for a specific group. The therapists and patients will increase their qualifications, gain the knowledge and skills required for more efficient therapy sessions. They also strengthen their position in the labor market and became more flexible.
The training materials will combine the educational value with protection of a disappearing cultural heritage. Elaboration of materials will create an excellent opportunity for exchange of experience between specialists from various part of Europe which will result in multicultural output easily understandable throughout the whole of Europe and potentially all over the world.
TARGET GROUPS AND THEIR NEEDS:
The target groups of the project are divided into two main clusters:
- the therapists - including trainers, instructors, tutors, assistants, moderators and any other staff trained and permitted for work with people needing or requiring therapy and help. The target group needs useful and efficient tools to be able to work with people demanding help;
- the patients and clients, all those who require therapy and/or support (physically and/or mentally disabled people, homeless and unemployed, socially excluded, etc.). Besides the need of capable therapy, the target group also needs social inclusion and opportunity for building healthy relations. The needs of both target groups will be satisfied by creating innovative, but embedded in tradition, materials useful for therapy. The library of video recordings will fulfill the need for a handy archive helpful for any therapeutic work.
The developed training materials will create chances for enhancement of qualifications profitable on the labor market and bringing opportunities for social inclusion.