The “Supported Communication” team initiates a variety of projects


Daniel Druschel, for example, normally works in the area of “assisted living”, with which Caritas enables people in need of help to live in an apartment as normal and to access help whenever it is needed. Today Druschel is sitting with his colleague Carolin Perez Lopez-Cepero; They want to check the new wort.los product again before it is printed – a first aid poster in sign language.

We started with “sign posters” years ago,” reports Daniel Druschel. “A lot of people here are interested in that, and they can also take part, because the necessary gestures for the photos are shown by our clients and by Caritas employees themselves!” In this way, the “Our Father” was created as a sign poster, and there was one about the different feelings that a person can have: anger, joy, love, affection, dislike… “We have a new brand ‘word’ especially for the posters. los’,” explains Carolin Perez. “For example, we have already held a poetry competition with our clients under this name. Now with the poster topic ‘First Aid’ it was particularly difficult to first select suitable gestures in order to convey the essentials in an understandable way.”

Sign language plays an important role

Sign language and “reading” signs play an important role in the area of integration assistance and significantly complement speaking and listening. But many people with disabilities have developed very individual forms of communication, often mixed forms – they speak “with hands and feet”. It is important for Caritas employees to find a form of communication with all of their clients so that there are no misunderstandings and the person with a disability feels heard in the truest sense of the word. “We also speak of supported communication because we always look for and develop such a communication method together, and it can look different in each individual case,” explains Daniel Druschel.

A large project is currently being developed together with Fulda University: Students of the “Social Work” course are developing a “project workshop” for people with disabilities: 20 people from the integration assistance program will be provided once a week in the coming summer semester and in the following winter semester meet for three hours in the university’s seminar rooms. The clients themselves are allowed to submit topic suggestions for the individual workshops – for example, they are interested in training on how to write successful applications, on how to use digital media and devices, and on deepening reading, writing and arithmetic skills.

“We think it’s great that this project is coming about,” explains Daniel Druschel. “The students involved in the social affairs department can try out the design of this project workshop, and those we supervise are very happy about what’s on offer on the university campus. Let’s see what new ideas will arise from the aspect of supported communication.”

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