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INFUSE – seedIng competences and harvesting work inclusiveNess For adUlt autiStic peoplE (2022 – 2023)

The INFUSE Erasmus+ project was a small-scale project started in 2022 to develop an innovative best practice for a job placement path dedicated to autistic adults in the agricultural sector.

Autistic people commonly experience numerous barriers to access employment. Across Europe, there is not enough organisations able to provide supported employment programs to autistic adults. There is also an urgent need of supporting autistic adults through innovative education approaches to ensure that they benefit from adapted vocational training. Such training should offer tailored learning based on adequate skills identification and screening and should promote job accessibility and social inclusion.

The E-INFUSE project aimed to implement a joint initiative addressing this gap by promoting cooperation and exchange of experiences among organizations working with autistic people, to foster their social inclusion through the creation of education opportunities. Ultimately, the objective was to contribute to designing and give open access to a best practice model for supporting access to employment for autistic.

More specifically, during 12 months the project:

  • Developed a training and job placement path in the agricultural sector of officinal products;
  • Supported autistic adults in acquiring skills and competences in the officinal plant cultivation and in the production and selling processes, as well skills in the areas of communication and interaction;
  • Enhanced the competencies of educators to improve effectiveness of adult education, promoting better and innovative teaching methods in the agricultural sector;
  • Contributed to raise awareness of autism in society and how to become more inclusive .

About the partners

Three organisations from two different countries came together to implement this pilot best practice in Italy. Autism-Europe (Belgium) worked alongside:

  • The coordinator, A.G.S.A.T. (Associazione Genitori Soggetti Autistici del Trentino – Parents Association of Person with Autism Trentino, Italy): a non-profit organisation that aims at meeting the needs of autistic people and their families by building a local network of users. The main goal is to support the independent, and as autonomous as possible, life of autistic people according to their support needs, and with constant respect for their dignity and the principle of equal opportunities. INFUSE represented a concrete opportunity to improve the independent living of A.G.S.A.T. users, by supporting their participation in the world of work in the area of medicinal plants cultivation.
  • Tuttoverde (Italy): a social cooperative supporting the social integration of different groups of disadvantaged people. It has created a garden center, called “Tuttoverde”, in which organic vegetables and officinal herbs are produced through social agriculture. Tuttoverde was involved in the training of educators of partners’ staff and autistic adults in farming activities of officinal herbs.

Visit the project’s Facebook page

More info on the dedicated website

Check one of the results: the compendium of current practices and initiatives for autistic people in the agricultural employment sector

More about Erasmus+

Erasmus+ is the EU’s programme to support education, training, youth and sport in Europe. It has an estimated budget of €26.2 billion. The 2021-2027 programme places a strong focus on social inclusion, the green and digital transitions, and promoting young people’s participation in democratic life.