Motivation Romania Foundation and Swiss Paraplegic Research introduce ability-oriented capacity assessment for wheelchair users in Romania

Project co-financed by a grant from Switzerland through the Swiss Contribution to the enlarged European Union

Motivation Romania Foundation (MRF) in partnership with Swiss Paraplegic Research of Switzerland (SPR) have started in May the project ”LOOK AT ABILITIES, FORGET INCAPACITY – Implementation of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) in social inclusion services for Romanian wheelchair users.” The project is carried out during May 2013 – May 2015.

”Look at Abilities, Forget Incapacity” aims to raise awareness among professionals in Romania working in the field of disability and to train them regarding the shift in approaching disability from a more complex, ability-oriented perspective.

The overall development objective is to create a strong partnership between Swiss Paraplegic Research (SPR) and Motivation Romania Foundation (MRF) to improve the quality of rehabilitation and employment services for Romanian wheelchair users through an innovative ability-oriented training program for disability professionals and a unique capacity assessment service provided by MRF to wheelchair users that incorporate the principles of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) as recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) as part of the forthcoming recommendations of the WHO’s International Perspectives on Spinal Cord Injury (IPSCI).

The objectives of the project are:

  • to transfer Swiss knowledge and expertise to Romanian disability professionals by developing and providing unique ICF based ability-oriented awareness and training to 120 disability professionals, particularly from the public sector;
  • to facilitate participation of disability professionals and people with disabilities in improving the quality of Romanian disability services by creating the ICF and International Perspectives on Spinal Cord Injury (IPSCI) implementation strategy for Romania consisting of an implementation guide and tools;
  • to create, pilot, document, assess and promote ability oriented, ICF based services for wheelchair users provided by MRF and other implementers in Romania.

During the first year of project implementation, three Romanian experts will benefit from the expertise of the Swiss partner concerning the ICF approach to disability, so as to develop the tools and package for training 120 disability professionals regarding ability-oriented capacity assessment of persons with disabilities. Three focus groups of disability professionals and persons with spinal cord injuries will be organized for a survey of the needs of bringing IPSCI recommendations into Romanian practice, as well as a workshop to draft the specific implementation guide and tools for Romania. Also, the ICF approach will start being implemented in all projects run by Motivation Romania Foundation.

In 2014, we will continue the training process and we will organize an ICF and IPSCI awareness conference in Bucharest. The results of the surveys and of the ICF implementation in MRF`s services will be analysed and summarized.

Throughout the entire project, the “Look at Abilities, Forget Incapacity” campaign will focus on increasing awareness of ability-oriented services for wheelchair users among 1,200 disability professionals, people with disabilities, members of the media and members of local communities.

The opportunities and tools are created based on two crucial international documents of the World Health Organization (WHO): the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health and the International Perspectives on Spinal Cord Injury, the latter developed in partnership with the International Spinal Cord Society.

MRF combines its eighteen year experience of independent living service provision for wheelchair users with SPR’s expertise in ability-oriented assessment of persons with spinal injuries, to create, test, assess and promote ability-oriented services that facilitate the full participation of Romanian wheelchair users.

The financial support of the Swiss-Romanian Cooperation Programme is CHF 249,974, while MRF and its partner will provide co-funding of CHF 42,735.

More information regarding the timeline of the project can be found in the activity plan.