Simulating a supermarket as a learning environment
- ITSE C. Colombo - Technical and Economic Institute of Porto Viro
- Country of Implementation
- Western Europe
- First published
“Let us change the world, spread the news and take your chances.” Ms. Daniela Boscolo, Head of Project
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.
Solution, Innovation and Impact
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.
Funding, Outlook and Transferability
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.