Innovative Practices 2016 on Education and ICT

Simulating a supermarket as a learning environment

The College C. Colombo supports the acquisition of all skills (soft skills) that facilitate the socialization and employment of young people, but especially to remove cultural barriers towards the full social inclusion of young people with disabilities. The projects works with all students, both with and without disabilities, and collaborates with small enterprises and local companies. The two-faceted project is integrating young people in a work environment and at the same time raising awareness about disability issues in local companies and promoting changes in their employment practices.

“Let us change the world, spread the news and take your chances.”

About the practice at a glance
Name of Innovative Practice:At the Supermarket
Organisation:Istituto Tecnico Economico “C. Colombo”
of Implementation


  • Thanks to the “At the Supermarket” project, Ms. Daniela Boscolo received Italy’s “Best Teacher of the Year” award and has been included among the 50 best teachers in the world by the Varkey Foundation in the competition “The Global Teacher Prize.”
  • The project model has also been applied in other schools in Italy.

From School to Inclusive Work_PRA_Photo5


Employment plays an important role in the social identity of a person. Very often, the self-confidence and reputation of a person are defined by his or her role at work. For this reason, it is crucial that people with disabilities acquire the skills necessary to be integrated in the work force and that their active role in society is recognized.


The project is designed to promote the social and professional inclusion of students with intellectual disabilities. “At the Supermarket” is a simulated supermarket managed by disabled young people where they learn accounting, to speak foreign languages, and to draft a code of conduct. The project also includes guided visits to actual supermarkets and an internship. A second project, “Special Masterchef,” has been implemented with the collaboration of a local restaurant, whereby students with disabilities interact with nondisabled students in a working environment. Here, students with disabilities learn how to cook, serve, and prepare tables. Yet a third project, “Alternating School and Work for All,” involves a fish processing company, at which disabled students spend a month in the various departments – from administrative offices to warehouses. Each of these projects has a positive effect on both the students with disabilities and their classmates. It allows the former to experience real-life contexts and to exercise their social-relational skills to build their own personal/social identity that finds its full expression in the ability to perform a job, and the other students learn to appreciate their classmates and to respect them.


The learning environment is changed every year to give students the opportunity to practice new situations in order to acquire new competences and to experience a variety of working contexts, thus increasing their chances for employment. There are now requests from several other schools in Italy to introduce the model to their environment.


Ms. Daniela Boscolo
+39 339 2524726