Transition to adulthood is extremely important stage of life, often full of difficulties. It is marked by taking on new roles and responsibilities in interrelated domains, such as education and employment. This is a period of increasing maturity, which requires the young person to take responsibility for him/herself and to make independent decisions. Transition to adulthood is often considered harder for disabled people, because of the personal challenges they meet. These could be physical, sensory, cognitive and communicative, but also related to environmental barriers. Furthermore, policies, systems and services often tend to be poorly coordinated, impeding disabled youth and their families from receiving the information needed to navigate the transition successfully. As a result of this, opportunities for full participation in adult life become limited.
It is therefore essential that young disabled people who have received quality support (from their family, education system or society) are able to share their experience and inform their disabled and non-disabled peers about how they have achieved this transition, what obstacles they have met and how they have overcome them. The experience of independent living organisations in holding trainings for empowering young disabled people is also worth sharing. This is why one of our volunteers, Kamil Goungor, from Greece, took part in the Tranzit seminar in Budapest – to raise awareness about the ways ENIL works with young disabled people to support their transition to adulthood.
About the Tranzit seminar
On 5th – 7th July, the Tranzit seminar was organized by the Youth Department of the Council of Europe and took place at the European Youth Centre in Budapest, Hungary. It was entitled “Youth work and youth policy practices in support of young people’s transition to autonomy and work life”.
The event aimed to collect good practices of youth work and policy in responding to the challenges faced by young people in their transition to autonomy. A particular focus was placed on the measures that could be used in this work in the areas of employment, education and training.
Before the seminar, the participants were engaged in online learning activities based on the Tranzit and Youth Works online platform of the Youth Department of the Council of Europe, primarily focused on sharing good practices.
The official opening of the seminar was on 5th July, when the event’s aim, objectives, programme, methodology and its context were introduced. The highlights of this first day were the experience sharing and learning from the good practices of the participants. Kamil presented ENIL’s Study Session from 2014 on multiple discrimination, jointly organized with the Council of Europe1. This youth event was given as an example of good practice in empowering young disabled people to take an active role in achieving independent living.
The next two days were dynamic and full of fruitful discussions and activities. Three guest speakers were invited – Nadja Dokter, Head of Strategy and Impact Team, European Institute for Innovation and Technology, Mauricio Dierckxsens, Specialist on Employment, International Labor Organization, and Viktoria Gerner, Integrom project – Boston Consulting Group. Their presentations were related to the possible ways of cooperation with different sectors which young people could find useful in their transition to autonomy. After group work, guidelines for initiatives in support of transition and access to the labour market of young people were created. Towards the end of the day, a one-minute video on the added value of youth work and youth policy was created by participants themselves.
On the last day, the Enter recommendations were presented and a discussion took place about the potential use of these recommendations in ensuring young people’s access to the labour market.
You can find the programme of the event here.
Reports from other participants and more photos can be found here.
1 – a report from the ENIL study session in 2014 is available here