The mentally disabled
Friends without limits
The more industrialised countries
In the more industrialised countries such as in
Western Europe and North America schooling as well as
measures for rehabilitation or housing and granting subsidies are the most
important aspects of a positive policy towards those who are disabled.
It is a known fact that many families still find difficulties on account
of the architectural barriers, the lack of specialised support staff and a didactic
program which is “personalised” and which takes into account
the specific requirements of each person.
In any case the integration into a school for a child with a disability is a very important experience. Apart from the doubtless value of cognitive learning, it represents a considerable stimulus towards socialisation and relations with others.
Becoming adult often marks the end of any rehabilitative intervention
or integration even if many disabled people still want to learn new things, to become,
as far as possible, independent in daily life, to be together with others.
Work is an ambition for many disabled people who want to catch up with
the others, to feel themselves useful, to be able to give a contribution to society.
But to be inserted into the world of work is still too difficult even in rich countries.
If in the seventies and eighties many Western countries were critical
of the idea of putting disabled people into Institutes and developed new initiatives
(foyers, family communities, sheltered residences), today unfortunately there is a
return to the Institute as the simplest and most practical solution.