This handbook is aimed at professionals and volunteers who work with persons with disabilities. The concept of empowerment is central to the whole approach presented in this handbook. Empowerment is defined as a process of strengthening, whereby individuals, organizations and communities ‘get a grip’ of their own situations and surroundings. They do so by acquiring control, sharpening their critical awareness and seeking to participate. Persons with disabilities are not seen as helpless victims, but are recognized for both their vulnerable and resourceful sides. The focus of empowerment is therefore on health, wellbeing, power and environmental influences, and not on problems, risk factors and the individualisation of problems.
The handbook provides practical guidance in planning and implementing activities, as well as background material on key concepts and the legal framework in relation to psychosocial support and inclusion. Real-life stories and examples of programmes in the field are included, to share knowledge and learning. The activities range from psychosocial activities that are accessible to all (chapter 3) to physical activities that are adapted to include persons with disabilities (chapter 5). Detailed information is given for all the activities in chapter 5 to enable professionals or volunteers with little or no experience in working with persons with disabilities to consider planning and implementing psychosocial programmes.
The Psychosocial Centre is hosted and supported by Red Cross in Denmark and supported by The Canadian Red Cross Society, Finnish Red Cross, French Red Cross, Icelandic Red Cross, International Federation Tsunami Unit, Japanese Red Cross Society, Norwegian Red Cross and Swedish Red Cross.