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Project overview

The program is aimed at adults with disabilities and specifically with mental disabilities as well as their trainers. DSM 5 (2013) defines mental disabilities as neurodevelopmental disorders that begin in childhood and are characterized by mental difficulties as well as difficulties in conceptual, and practical areas of life. The aim of the program is to develop and improve the management skills of leisure time of people with mental, developmental, difficulties. An additional goal is to prepare a toolkit (IO1), based on educational tools (IO4), where it will be provided as an OER for trainers, academics, professionals and parents as an interactive and supportive material to achieve the above goal. Research conducted in different countries in Europe has shown that there is no suitable material and support for leisure skills for people with disabilities. As a result, their functional integration into the community is not achieved, their skills are significantly reduced as they grow older, their emotional state is negatively affected, and they need increased help and support. In addition, the existence of an unstructured and unsupported and free leisure training as well as the complete deprivation of recreational activities in people with disabilities can lead to unconscious interventions towards themselves or the community. In the present proposal, the recreational behavior of people with mental difficulties will be redefined through research questionnaires, in the context of developing skills for social interaction and integration of these individuals. The long-term goal is to create an easily accessible electronic material that will help people with disabilities stop the circle that is leading them away from society. That circle is created because while general education and integration structures exist in the community, there is no emphasis on teaching quality of life and leisure skills, which are what lead to effective integration. For example, a person with a mental disability fails to perform simple activities such as washing. This is because complex and combined cognitive skills are required, for example, to organize wardrobe in clean and not clean clothes, to change clothes by seasonality. Thus, while the person wants to dress according to the rest of society, does not succeed and never really integrates into it. Similar frustration and non-integration occur in other activities in which the person does not know and cannot understand on his own because of the unwritten rules of behavior and communication. This program innovates with an easy-to-use interactive e-learning educational toollkit to offer awareness and use by experts and those interested in the importance of these teaching skills as an easily accessible tool for everyone. The toolkit (IO1) will be shared through the project learning portal (IO6), together with the educational materials / methods that make it up (IO4). The ultimate goal is to identify both changes in leisure habits as well as the relationship between mental health and self-esteem. The portal will be a meeting place for professionals and academics for discussion (as there will be a forum section), exchange of views and use of educational tools. The portal will also be available as an OER to those interested. Finally, a policy report (IO7) will be produced and promoted about the project's thematic work in the new social integration strategies of the European Union and its Member States.