J. Matulaitis Social Center aka Atvira Bendruomene has been providing social services to people with intellectual disabilities for 20 years. We believe that it is no longer enough just to increase care services for the disabled, because in this way only the basic needs of people with disabilities are met and the opportunities for people with disabilities to contribute to the development of society are not exploited. Experience shows that people with intellectual disabilities seek opportunities to work, to choose from a wider range of activities on offer, not just from educational or leisure activities. The social workshop project provides opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities to produce more diverse, higher quality products with the help of social workers and assistants. The realization of these products provides an opportunity for people with intellectual disabilities to earn money on their own and contribute to their family budget. It also develops people’s independence and increases self-esteem.
In social workshops, there is a position that another person is perceived as a gift to those around them. We also believe that effective work stimulates a person to grow, learn and improve, helps to get involved in community life.
The following activities are organized in social workshops:
production of postcards;
training to provide a variety of services in the community.
We hope that the social workshop project will contribute not only to strengthening the project participants’ work skills and increasing their integration into the labor market, but also to changing society’s attitudes towards people with intellectual disabilities. We want to spread the message that people with intellectual disabilities have the ability to create a quality, original product and thus contribute to the development of the community.