Chilean Organizations Awarded for Innovative Educational Practices

The award was given in Vienna for their roles in advancing educational and quality of life initiatives for individuals with special needs

May 22nd, 2024
Yevheniia Symakova, News from Berlin
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The Zero Project, an initiative committed to the global implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), has recognized two Chilean organizations—the Institute of Deafness (Indesor) and the UC Down Syndrome Center—for their roles in advancing educational and quality of life initiatives for individuals with special needs.

In March 2024, the Zero Project awarded the Institute of Deafness (Indesor) and the UC Down Syndrome Center in Chile for their efforts to enhance educational access and quality for individuals with disabilities. These institutions have contributed to promoting inclusivity and improving quality of life through their educational strategies and support systems.

Indesor is recognized for its approach to education for students with hearing disabilities, providing it free of charge while maintaining high quality standards. A non-profit private corporation, Indesor has expanded its offerings from vocational training to include primary and secondary education as well. Since 2020, the organization has also implemented an educational process known as “reverse inclusion,” which integrates children who are hearing into the learning environment of students with hearing disabilities. This method aims to create an inclusive educational atmosphere that encourages understanding and empathy among all children. Annually, Indesor educates approximately 100 students and is recognized as a national reference center for inclusive education for children with hearing disabilities.

Similarly, the UC Down Syndrome Center focuses on improving the lives of individuals with Down Syndrome. Initiated in 2017 and serving 48 children by 2023, the program focuses on early childhood development through group activities designed to foster personal and cognitive growth, emotional well-being and interpersonal skills, while integrating arts and psycho-education. Additionally, the center provides a comprehensive support system for the families of individuals with Down Syndrome, offering tools and resources to address their specific challenges and enhance their overall wellbeing.

Based on the principles of the CRPD, the Zero Project is an international initiative that aims to ensure that all people, regardless of ability, have equal rights. The project not only provides awards and recognition but also functions as a platform for the dissemination of innovative practices and solutions in the field of disability rights worldwide. By highlighting successful initiatives such as those undertaken by Indesor and the UC Down Syndrome Center, the Zero Project supports a global exchange of ideas and strategies that may be adapted and applied in different contexts to improve the lives of individuals with special needs.

The recognition of Chilean institutions by the Zero Project also reflects the diplomatic relations between Austria and Chile. Austria, where the Zero Project was founded, has historically partnered with countries to promote disability rights and support inclusiveness and accessibility on a global scale. This recognition highlights the successful bilateral cooperation between the two nations and also underscores the shared values of the two nations in promoting human rights, particularly in forums dedicated to social inclusion and disability advocacy.


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