Fund of Assistance to Disabled Children and Youth
Fund’s press secretary, project
coordinator and contact person:
Sofijskaya St., 50 – 85
Fund of Assistance to Disabled Children and Youth is a non-profit and non-governmental organization, founded in 1992 in St.-Petersburg, Russia.
AIMS OF THE FUND’S ACTIVITY:
- Solving problems of social and personal development with the disabled youth
- Raising awareness on disability issues in the mainstream society and increasing communication between disabled and non-disabled people
- Artistic and vocational skills development with disabled youth
- Solving problems of medical and technical service for youth with disabilities
Through its programmes and activities the Fund fosters improvement of educational conditions and cultural development for children and youth with disabilities.
It pursues integration of youth with disabilities into society with emphasis on access to information, education and culture, and promotes their participation on an intercultural level. The Fund is a member of International Federation of Hard of Hearing Young People (IFHOHYP) and European Human Bridges integrated network involving both disabled and non-disabled young people across Europe.
The Fund has currently completed Internet Access and Training Programme for disabled students – “Involvement of youth with disabilities into Internet community – from raising professional skills to active participation in building Russian civil society”. The Fund has made possible participation of disabled students in the mainstream US high school exchange program carried out by the U.S. Department of State, on the highly competitive basis. Since 1995 more than 18 disabled young people have taken part in free annual high school exchange program lasting for one academic year. The Fund nominates and encourages disabled young students for participation in international seminars, “Europe at School” international educational programme under aegis of the Council of Europe, European Union and the European Cultural Convention, nominates participants for training courses at European Youth Centers of the Council of Europe, Youth Weeks, IFHOHYP summer camps and language courses; the Fund organises local and international conferences on disability issues, co-organises European Human Bridges mixed ability network annual trainings and seminars such as “Disability and Sport”, “Integration through Arts and Education”, IFHOHYP study sessions. The Fund ran and organised projects such as “Series of Activities for Disabled Youth”, “Increasing Active Participation by Disabled Youths in Society Life and in Mainstream Sport and Art Activities”, Ballroom Sport Wheelchair Dance programme, and others. The Fund cooperates with various NGOs of St.Petersburg, Europe and the USA, with specialized and mainstream educational institutions, medical institutions and mass media.
FOR THE FIRST TIME IN ST.-PETERSBURG AND IN RUSSIA
The fund has initiated and carried out the following activities completed with support of its international partners:
- During post-perestroika times of deficit, collection of donated new/used hearing aids in Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland and the USA, and their distribution to children with hearing disabilities in Saint-Petersburg.
- Arrangement of visits by the leading world experts in hearing diagnostics to St.-Petersburg, for carrying out diagnostics research and consultation meetings with hearing-impaired children and youth.
- Establishing contacts between cochlear implant specialists of “Med-El” company (Austria) and experts of the St.-Petersburg Research Institute of Ear, Nose and Throat. As a result, since 1996 cochlear implant surgeries (more than 20) that can restore hearing loss were successfully carried out with deaf children and youth.
- With support of its partners in Sweden and Germany/International Paralympic Committee, in 1997 the Fund has launched and promoted the “Wheelchair Dance” program in St Petersburg, the first place in Russia with developed wheelchair dance sport. For the first time youths with different disabilities learn sport ballroom dances together (e.g. deaf/hard of hearing partners with partners in wheelchairs), thus enabling mutual integration.
- Made possible participation of Russian disabled students in the mainstream US high school exchange program, carried out by the U.S. Department of State on the competition basis. Since 1995 more than 18 disabled young people have taken part in free competitive annual high school exchange program lasting for one academic year in the U.S.
- Organising consultations for hearing-impaired youth with expert in genetics of hearing loss, on family planning and hearing disability.
- Organizing participation of gifted disabled children and youth in mainstream and disability art festivals, contests on regional and international level.
|Two couples of wheelchair dance||Zhenya Gordienko with her artworks|
MAIN ACTIVITIES OF THE FUND:
- Exhibits of the artwork by artists with disabilities in St.Petersburg, Europe and the USA (Disability Arts festival, Very Special Arts “Art and Soul”, Los Angeles, USA; Gallaudet University for the deaf, Washington, DC, USA; Stanford University, USA; Council of Europe, Strasbourg, France)
- Nominating, encouraging and preparing disabled youth for their participation in international seminars, training courses (European Youth Centers at Strasbourg and Budapest, Mobility International course), Youth Weeks and IFHOHYP summer camps, IFHOHYP language courses, organizing conferences on disability issues (“Importance of early rehabilitation in success of integration” and others).
- Counseling for the families with disabled children and for disabled youth
- Assistance in creative and professional growth of the disabled, preparation of young disabled for their participation in the competitions, including international («Sounds and Colours of the World» – the only Russian integrated art festival, «Europe at School», «Very Special Arts», «Yes, I can !»)
- Organizing wheelchair dance and gymnastics workshops; wheelchair dance performances at mainstream cultural events, wheelchair dance championships and tournaments
- Participation of youth with disabilities in mainstream cultural events, leisure activities, dances and social evenings for students of specialized institutions
- Covering disability issues in both specialized and mainstream mass media and Internet editions
- Participation in joint projects with local and international organisations (IFHOHYP, IVSS, Wheelchair Dance and Sport of the International Paralympic Committee, European Human Bridges long-term project, the U.S. VSA Arts and the «Yes, I can !» programmes)
- Annual projects carried out through grants from the U.S. Department of State and the American Council on International Education: “Series of Activities for Disabled Youth”, “Increasing Active Participation by Disabled Youths in Society Life and in Mainstream Sport and Art Activities”, Internet Access and Training Programme “Involvement of youth with disabilities into Internet community – from raising professional skills to active participation in building Russian civil society”, and others
|Computer courses||Preparing for Radio Maria programme|