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THE SCHOLASTIC ASSISTANCE SERVICE
The service was created in the 1986 in Reggio Calabria's public schools upon initiative of a few parents of disabled students. The direct experience of their children's difficulties in scholastic inclusion, motivated these parents, most of whom A.GE.DI.'s members, to ask the relevant authority, Town's Social Service Department, for a solution to the problem.
Social Service Counsellor Dr Giovanna Ferrara, although not able to provide human resources from her department, allowed A.GE.DI. to experiment a support service for students with disabilities. Thereafter, A.GE.DI.'s experts developed a project looking at the experience of similar initiatives in other Italian cities.
The first proposal gained A.GE.DI. a 25million Lit. contribution by the Social Service Department and the Town Council. In the following years and with the City Council's support, A.GE.DI. has achieved local and national recognition for his results in granting the right to education to disabled students.
Nowadays, the service organisation consists of a Coordination Team (leader Anna Vadala` and assistant Stefania Maggiese) and a Support Team (with psychologist Roberta Racinaro and social worker Anna Campolo). Scholastic assistants can elect a number of representatives in the Directors Board. This executive organism co-ordinates all the office activities, services and initiatives organised by A.GE.DI.'s executive board and by the Members Assembly. Furthermore, the Directors Board can make final decisions about office and services management.
Members of the Board are the President, the Vice- President, the Presidence Office Assistant, the Executive Board Secretary, the Financial Controller and the people in charge for A.GE.DI.'s services. Furthermore, Rapresentatives of the scholastic assistants are involved when are being discussed matters ineherent to the Scholastic Assistance Service.
The Scholastic Assistance Service (S.A.A.) Team includes a General Co-ordinator and a Techical Assistant: -the General Co-ordinator's responsabilities include: control on the Service's efficiency and efficacy; relations with political and bureaucratic authorities; relations with the health board and the schools; convocation of specialised team meetings; organisation of parties and social opportunities for the families of disables. -the Techical Assistant's duties are: management of the scholastic assistants collocation; record of performaces; relations with the school secretary; collection of assistants's monthly attendaces and of schools's statements about received services.
Terms of Service
The service aims to give assistance to students with serious disability who attend lessons in public schools. Prerequisits to access the service are: - Age between 3 and 18 years old. Maximum age limits are extended if students are still attending public schools. - Any of the following medical conditions: Infantile Cerebral Paralysis, Muscular Disease, Locomotory Deformity Syndrome, Degenerative Nervous System Diseases, Paralysis, Tetraparesis Spastic, Blindness, Infantile Psychosis, Autism.
The scholastic assistant's scope is to make possible for the disabled student inclusion in the classroom activities. He/she supports the student most in need but does not interfere with the teacher's work.. His role is highly valued by the school operators for the advantage it gives for more precise course planning. The task assistant's role is not of a child minder but rather of support in compensating for the disabled's limitations: wether physical or mental.
The service starts when the student is dropped off at school by his/her parents to when he/she is picked up at the end of the lessons. All the assistants have an hazard insurance and health card.
Operator vocational training
A.GE.DI. makes a priority of the way operators are selected and trained. Applicants are assessed in an interview covering personal attitude, availability and practical skills. Further selection happens during the training phase. Acquisition of skills, theme seminars and group discussions, contribute to assess the candidate.
The training stage is managed by a psychologist and an educator. It aims to provide the candidates with new professional skills, lasts 4 days and ends with a final assessment. Nowadays, A.GE.DI.'s training team is in demand by several regional councils and by other Parents Associations. Its service has longer achieved national recognition, as proved in the latest International Conference "Quality of Scholastic Integration" held at Riva del Garda by the Erickson Foundation.
IDEAZIONE E REALIZZAZIONE
CITIES ON LINE S.p.A.
DIVISIONE TERRITORIALE CALABRIA