Keywords: Youth with intellectual disabilities (between 18 and 25 years of age), University program, Independent living and vocational training

TransicionES Crecer

Corporación TransicionesCrecer is a Colombian association for families of young people with intellectual disabilities. It has developed a Transition to Adult Life programme in partnership with a Colombian university and the private sector. Young people are trained in independent living skills, undertake internships and have access to other programmes offered at the university, such as entrepreneurship and technology. 130 young people have been supported so far and a model for use in secondary education settings is in development.

About the practice at a glance
Name of OrganisationCorporación TransicionesCrecer
Type of organisationSocial enterprise
Country
of Implementation
Colombia
Year started2010
Funding modelCivil society funding + Income from the project itself

IMPACT

Young people acquire skills and get a multidimensional training for productive life, a project for adult life and independent living from self-management and self-determination. It impacts the families strengthening them as co-managers of the young peoples life project and the plural and diverse university as a laboratory of good practices and coexistence for future professionals in a transdisciplinary way.  

The project was born from the organised families of young people with intellectual disabilities.  

130 young people and their families participated. 

THEORY OF CHANGE

We asked projects to outline their impact model (also called Theory of Change) – their main target groups, the key activities they offer these target groups, and what impact they want to achieve:

Target GroupActivityImpact
Young people with intellectual
disability, between 18 and 30
years old, who lives in Bogotá or
other cities of Colombia.
Higher education inclusion
program with that aims to
strengthen skills for independent
and productive adult life, through
socio-labor practices in regular
business and entrepreneurships,
and structuring strategies and
individualized support.
To offer real alternatives for
independent and productive adult
life, taking in to account individual
characteristics, goals and support
needs, through the development
a cooperative model of solidarity
economy and the Common Good.
Young people’s familiesPerson and family centered
program, that aims to empower
families as co-managers, agents
of social change, and the
structural axis of supports,
organized as an alternative
productive company based on the
cooperative and solidary model.
To empower families as the
central pillar of the support
structure throughout life, allowing
self-determination and full social
inclusion, through constituting a
broad network of social change
agents, in the developing of an
alternative productive models.
University community Pedagogical innovation and
knowledge management through
a collaborative and
transdisciplinary learning in
University Inclusion Trajectories.
To contribute in the integral
education of the future
professionals, through social
values as diversity, coexistence,
and a collaborative learning and
research. The aim is to impact
with the educational path with an
integral view that naturally
incorporate diversity as a
constitutive part of their
disciplines.

REPLICATION EXPERIENCE

Replication is a new topic for us, but it is the right time to start working on it.

ORGANISATIONAL CAPACITY AND STRATEGY

The model is replicable and sustainable due to the co-responsibility between sectors and the active participation of organized and co-managing civil society. The model allows each university to explore and offer educational trajectories according to its own characteristics. We have developed the model with two other universities, and the articulation of the model for secondary education is in pilot stage to facilitate the path in the educational system.  

To replicate the model is necessary to ensure its sustainability. This model, that emerged in an associative organization of families and young people producing alliances, allows to articulate the educative formal system, higher education and productive alternatives. We already have 10 years’ experience of learning and human resource training. As well, the cooperative model has had 6 years of developing experiences of entrepreneurship, feeding back the perspective of real inclusion.  

we have a project owner for this program, with the necessary skills and seniority: our co-founder of the TransitionESCrecer Corporation and current director of the OAT Program. She is a pediatrician and current professor at the Universidad del Rosario, specialist in care for people with disabilities and development of innovative inclusion models.  

MOTIVATION

Educative innovation must transcend to innovative economics and productive models based on solidarity, inclusion and participation, fundamentals that has the power to change traditional individualism and competition. Universities are the more suitable laboratory to try out projects such as ours, because in addition to providing real training alternatives for the population with intellectual disabilities, it involves future professionals in collaborative learning, coexistence, and transdisciplinary research and knowledge management, that can contribute with the needed social transformation, and with the big challenges and Sustainable Development Goals of the 21st century. 

Main challenges:  

  1. Strengthening intersectoral and interinstitutional alliances, especially with public and private organizations in the productive sector and the solidary economy.
  2. Design and stimulate a new management and flexibilization of administrative and legal routes in each higher education institutions, with the objective to build real and practical co-responsibilities exercises of all sectors, based on a genuine perspective of the common good.
  3. To transcend barriers to achieve co-responsibility, that can be found even in associative organizations that represent civil society, when individualism and competitiveness prevail.
  4. Strengthening the associative base for reduce the extraordinary costs of disability that has historically charged to families.