The YMI project promotes the participation of autistic children and young people in activities developed by community structures, on equal terms with their peers, thanks to the support of “young mediators” to foster social inclusion. Running since 2019, this project is funded by the EU programme Erasmus+.
Most of the children and young people on the autism spectrum are not fully included in society. Almost all institutions that work in this area develop specific activities addressed only to autistic children, in segregated groups and accompanied by therapists. This favours paths of exclusion, stigmatization, discrimination, and institutionalisation.
In order to tackle this situation, the ‘Young Mediators for Inclusion’ project YMI promotes the participation of autistic children and young people in activities developed by community structures, on equal terms with their peers, thanks to the support of “young mediators” to foster social inclusion.
In the framework of the project, an innovative pilot methodology to include children and youngsters on the autism spectrum in regular community structures (sports clubs, cultural and recreational associations, activities promoted by the municipality, etc.) will be created, together with a training for young mediators to ensure the full inclusion of people on the autism spectrum. Besides, a European guide will be also created to gather and further disseminate best practices on this particular field.
To implement this project, an international partnership has been created under the coordination of the Portuguese association Inovar Autismo. Three other autism associations (Autismo Burgos from Spain, Diversamente ODV from Italy, and Autism-Europe from Belgium), the ISCTE Business School from Portugal, and IntermediaKT from Greece, a non-profit organization working in vocational education, training and innovation.
About the Erasmus+ Programme
Erasmus+ is the EU’s programme to support education, training, youth and sport in Europe. Its budget of €14.7 billion will provide opportunities for over 4 million Europeans to study, train, gain experience, and volunteer abroad.