The beginning of June marked the end of the first group support activity organized within Access to Education, Services and Community for wheelchair users Project, financed through the 2009 – 2014 EEA grants, within the NGO Fund in Romania. Four wheelchair users participated for one month in individual and group psychological counselling.
One of the persons involved in the project is Antonia, aged 34, who lives in Bucharest, and who has been a wheelchair user for approximately a year, following a car accident. The change was massive and unexpected, and it was not easy for her to adjust to it, as Antonia herself admits it. The support of her family was the first step toward accepting this new situation, and the interaction with the Motivation team brought her closer to an independent life style. Starting with May, Antonia participated in the group support and independent living training sessions, under the guidance of a wheelchair user who is the independent living trainer.
The team of young people, the energy they demonstrated from the very beginning and their ability to help me overcome any fear persuaded me that it was a good choice to be enrolled in the ‘ACCESS` project.
I didn’t even know that there are so many different types of wheelchairs and that there are so many important criteria to choose a wheelchair. Also, I didn’t expect to learn so many mobility skills so quickly. At first, when I would see my instructor going up and down the stairs with so much ease I thought that I would need to practice a lot to be able to do the same. It helped me a lot to get advice from someone who is in the same situation as I am, and this made me try even harder. Otherwise, I don’t think I would have succeeded to go down on the stairs while sitting in a wheelchair.
I will soon change my wheelchair for one that is more suitable for me, according to the recommendations that I received, to help me practice everything that I learned here. It is clear that my life will change to a great extent from now on, because there are so many things that I can do by myself. I leave from here having discovered new abilities and friends, whom I hope that I will see again soon. Here I include the foundation’s psychologist, who was very close to me. (Antonia, 34 years old)
The activities within the Access to Education, Services and Community for wheelchair users Project are implemented in the Bucharest – Ilfov region, between March 1, 2014 and April 30, 2016.
The project develops three new services for wheelchair users: assisted transportation and accessibility, home care and group support. All three services aim to improve health, to develop independent living abilities and to increase social participation in the case of 144 wheelchair users, adult and children. The project also targets to inform 500 persons without disabilities in the community, such as students and teachers, regarding the rights of children and adults with mobility disabilities.
For further information, please contact Alina Ioniţă, Project Assistant, phone.: 0735.333.927, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For official information on the EEA and Norwegian grants, please go to www.eeagrants.org.