The European Project CLAP Hands is an Erasmus + Program whose aim is to identify good practices in Access to the Professional Integration of Persons with Disabilities in Art and Culture.
Europe has 80 million citizens with disabilities, or 1/6 of the population (source Eurostat). Their employment rate is 50% (72% for the general population) and their poverty rate is 70% above average, partly because their access to employment is limited. The European goal to HORIZON 2020 to employ 75% of people aged 20 to 64 can not be achieved if these people are not taken into account. Accessibility and professionalization are among the top priorities of this strategy, which targets inclusive strategies and improved access to employment.
In 2003, a European declaration set accessibility as the guarantee of integration of people with disabilities into the professions of art, culture and the media. These sectors are a pool of professional opportunities. Creative practices are numerous in medico-social institutions but often limited to therapeutic, re-educational (occupational therapy), or occupational approaches with little opening to the “ordinary” social world. Beyond a better affirmation and participation of the person, the creativity opens on the professionalization. Across Europe, there are experiences of events, networks or support, for professional purposes, but these initiatives are not widely reported at the national level, let alone at the European level. On the other hand, it is in these institutions that these practices of educational mediation are the most numerous and the least inclusive because they have no or few actions directed towards the ordinary environment of life. Concerning professionals (social workers interested in art or artists interested in social work), there is an initial and continuing qualification deficit to better support individualized career paths towards these professions.
CLAP aims to qualify professionals to contribute to the professional inclusion of people with mental or psychic disabilities:
Operational objectives – Initiate a European network of social and medico-social organizations, training institutes or universities engaged in professional integration through art and culture but also professionals from the “ordinary” world of culture and performing arts – Collect and promote the best practices in terms of inclusion (ergonomics, accessibility, reception equipment, mediation, existing experiences …) and better know and communicate on accessible trades, particularities and types of artistic writing, practices creative … – Build and validate a training device for professionals (social workers and artists) accompanying / training people with disabilities in creative activities and cultural production. – Create the required environment supported by new technologies and social networks but also multidisciplinary workshops to promote the research-action process – Identify pre-professionalization criteria, professionalization and access conditions to professions – Animate the device by combining all stakeholders (including local and regional authorities in their cultural competence) to anchor this collaborative culture and define the criteria for modeling and transferability
Transnational approach In a field directly related to social policies, it is important to confront, on the issues of inclusion, in cultural milieu, people with disabilities, political, technical and cultural approaches. CLAP will focus on a common core of cross-cutting work for the countries involved, respecting the contextual specificities allowing a cross-fertilization of practices. This networking will promote the identification of good practices to allow, in the long run, the possible transfer of initiatives and recommendations for the public authorities. From what the CLAP network will produce, we will be able to build a qualifying training for the supervisors of these professional practices for the targeted public.