Project partners

FSZK Nonprofit Kft. (Hungary)

Full name in Hungarian

Fogyatékos Személyek Esélyegyenlőségéért Közhasznú Nonprofit Kft.

Full name in English

Equal Opportunities of Persons with Disabilities Non-profit Ltd.

Our organisation was established by the Hungarian State in order to ensure that the process of providing fully equal opportunities to persons with disabilities is supported by trained, devoted and competent professionals. In the implementation of our professional programs, we closely cooperate with disability related advocacy and professional organisations as well as the domestic and international professional community working in the field with a view to gaining the widest possible public acceptance for disability affairs and by following the principle “nothing about us without us”.

Persons with disabilities are entitled to the same political, civil, economic and social rights as their counterparts with no disabilities. We see it as our mission to further the realization of these rights.

We implement professional developments that make the life of persons with disabilities easier in kindergartens, schools, workplaces, sport facilities and in other spheres of everyday life:

  • Pedagogical development of children and young persons with disabilities
  • Promoting the accessibility of public buildings, playgrounds and parks
  • Supporting the communication of persons with disabilities
  • Fostering programs for the employment of persons with disabilities
  • Financing services assisting the parents of children with disabilities
  • Training of professionals.

The general development framework behind the mission of our Company comprises the UN Convention, the New Széchenyi Plan and its related documents, and the chapters of the EU2020 Strategy concerning the equal opportunities of persons with disabilities. In the interest of this, our Company implements professional programs of major importance mainly in the fields of improving employability, promoting labour market entry, ensuring quality education and access for all, and strengthening social inclusion and participation. The responsibility for ensuring and helping the achievement of the above objectives lies with the six professional teams working within our Company.

FSZK is participating in the professional work aimed at reforming the public social institutions with high number of tenants, on the course of which the process of deinstitutionalisation (DI) and the establishment of a system that is facilitating the possibility to conduct an independent life is being realized. Following the regulations set by the Government Decision 1257/2011 (VII.21.) our organisation started to build up a network of experts working on the DI: it is the mentor-network working on this project: it is the mentor-network supporting the DI-project.  For the members of this network a training program was prepared and realized, then we started to provide the service for the institutions concerned. The service was backed-up by various forms of support: working groups, conferences, experimental learning sessions, supervision for the mentors.

On the basis of the above mentioned Government Decision, the National Body for the Coordination of DI was established (IFKOTT), where the presidential tasks are performed by our managing director, and also our organisation is responsible for secretarial work.

FSZK was participating in LEONARDO tendering program from 2012. This program works as a Czech-English-Hungarian consortium and is responsible for working out the training conception for DI managers (contract number: 12/0034-L/6125, title of the project: Managing DI – new aim for VET social.) In the course of the present project we plan to lean on the result of this program during the working out of the training program (curriculum), its adaptation for the partner countries, and the realization of the pilot trainings.

CUDV Draga (Slovenia)

CUDV Draga (Education, Work and Care Center Draga), Slovenia was established by the government of Republic Slovenia as an institution for the training, education, occupation, health care and rehabilitation for more than 450 children, adolescents and adults with moderate, severe and profound learning disabilities and sensory impairments.

Basic programs are:

  • special education programs for children and adolescent,
  • social care (basic and residential care for children and adults),
  • health care (basic and special health treatment),
  • care and work under special conditions and
  • programmes for persons after acquired brain injury, as well.

The main aim of CUDV Draga is to give persons with mental impairments opportunities to learn, train, work and improve their quality of life in general.

Users have the possibility to comment and influence the decisions of the organisation during the regular meetings of the self-advocacy group.

Clients/students offer peer support in the learning process and important support during times of transition. Clients working in various positions within the centre support the functioning of the organisation (restaurant, kitchen, farm, laundering, house-keeping etc.). Clients active in sports activities, art-groups etc. Some of them work in the restaurant in the city centre of Ljubljana. They contribute strongly to awareness raising activities. The Centre employs to 450 workers and professionals. Experts from the Centre are also involved in education of staff and also give seminars for other educational organisations. From 1990 to 2002 some were involved in vocational program for care workers and in the last 12 years, we are also involved in many international projects, mostly in the previous Lifelong Learning Programe and currently in a new Erasmus plus.

Asociația Alternativa Brincovenești (Romania)

Asociația Alternativa Brincovenești is a nonprofit nongovernmental organisation with 187 members, who are mainly workers of the Neuropsychiatric Rehabilitation Centre from Brîncovenești, home of 310 residents. It was founded in order to help the institution in rehabilitating, re-socialising and reintegrating its clients. In order to fulfil these goals we are involved in many types of social activities – like charity activities, organising and financing the rehabilitation activities ( ergo- and art-therapy activities, exhibitions, sport activities, social-tourism, exchange programs with other institutions at national and international level), training activities for the Institution’s employees, clients, and for other institutions (training in healthcare, legal rights of persons with disabilities, social entrepreneurship). The existence of our organisation is justified because we feel that on a governmental level there are not enough accents on the human aspects of the deinstitutionalization process, mainly because the primary attention is put on the basic infrastructural issues. In function of our material and human resource possibilities, our organisation’s mission is to fill this incompleteness discovered in the social system.

Representatives of our organization actively took part in an international conference which had a main topic in the subject of deinstitutionalisation, organized by ’Szociális Intézmények Országos Szövetsége (National Federation of Social Institutions)’ – Hungary (2013, Hajdúszoboszló) presenting the current state of this process in Mures county from Romania. We also took part in some experience exchange activities, exploring the same matter (for example in Szakoly, Hungary, in 2014).

Another relevant experience I would like to mention is our day-to-day contact with 310 clients of the institution which is making part of the Romanian deinstitutionalization process, therefore acquiring a profound knowledge of the needs and specific characteristics of the residents who would benefit from this process. The key persons involved in this project are qualified trainers in the social domain (in health care, legal rights of clients, social entrepreneurship). Their main occupation is linked to the following fields: social management, medical domain, ergotherapy coordinating and social work. Between the most relevant skills of the key participants regarding this project we would mention: good organizational and communication skills, openness to new ideas, orientation to lifelong learning, intercultural communication skills, oriented to team work.

Mental Disability Rights Initiative Serbia (Serbia)

Mental Disability Rights Initiative “MDRI-S” (MDRI-Serbia) is an advocacy organization dedicated to the human rights and full participation in society of children and adults with mental disabilities in Serbia. MDRI-Serbia promotes citizen participation, awareness and oversight for the rights of persons with intellectual and mental disabilities, and participates in development of mental disability rights advocacy and self-advocacy movement in Serbia. The organisation’s special focus is on those children and adults who are at risk of or who are already residing in social and mental health institutions, since they represent the most endangered and marginalized group. MDRI-S is an affiliate of Disability Rights International.

Since 2008, Mental Disability Rights Initiative MDRI-S has functioned as an independent organisation focused on monitoring human rights in residential institutions, providing education on international human rights standards for persons with disabilities in Serbia, advocating the government for effective reform of laws that compromise the human rights of persons with disabilities, and decreasing stigma and promoting community inclusion.

In cooperation with Serbian civil society organisations, MDRI-Serbia is constantly pushing Serbian authorities to follow their reform oriented goals and is warning them each time their activities jeopardize human rights of persons with mental disabilities. Recent example are critics about the ongoing establishment and funding of forms of non-residential care which are not in compliance with the principles of social inclusion and in reality perpetrate segregation of persons with mental disabilities. Such efforts are directed as well toward international donors, including European Union. In 2011 MDRI-S, supported by a wide network of human rights and disability groups, succeeded in pressuring the European Union to back down from funding the reconstruction of six institutions for people with disabilities in Serbia.  The €5.1 million project has now been redrafted to support the creation of community services that allow children and adults to leave institutions and live in the community, with choices equal to others.

As a result of this initiative there is an on-going project supporting DI process in Serbia, funded by the EC. Grants are available for institutions and service providers to develop alternatives to institutional care. Such situation requires education of those running the process on multiple levels.

Central Denmark Region (Denmark)

Central Denmark Region is a regional public body, one of Denmark’s 5 regions. Its task includes among others health care and social tasks, containing also social care and other kind of support for people with disabilities or special needs. The region runs several institutions and provides – together with the municipalities – different support, care and special services for disadvantaged groups.

The region maintains several institutions for people with disabilities and special needs, and has approximately 2000 experienced professionals working in this area and runs several projects within this field.

In Denmark the Deinstitutionalisation (DI) process has started approx. 30 years ago. During these years we have gained several good and bad professional experiences and even though we have solved many tasks, we still work on finding the best possible, effective and long-term sustainable way to provide social services to people. We believe that this is only possible with innovative approach and by the constant training, development and education of the professionals.

Region Midtjyllands Koncern HR, Center for Kompetenceudvikling (Central Denmark Region, Centre for Competency Development) has conducted many training courses for professional staff and management in the social sector (also in relation to DI) in order to ensure continuous development of the operation of social institutions / group homes.

Eötvös Loránd University Bárczi Gusztáv Faculty of Special Needs Education and Faculty of Social Sciences (Hungary)

Eötvös Loránd University (shortly: “ELTE”), which was founded in 1635, is the oldest university in Hungary. It has an excellent reputation both in Hungary and abroad for the quality of its educational and research programmes. The university has always received international students. The original language of teaching was Latin. Hungarian became the official language of undergraduate training in 1861.

Eötvös Loránd University is one of the largest universities in the country with a total number of around 30,000 students a year. The university offers training at all levels of higher education. Due to the institutional mergers in 2000 and 2003, now ELTE has eight faculties (Education and Psychology; Primary and Pre-school Education; Special Education; Social Sciences; Humanities; Informatics; Law and Political Science; and [Natural] Science), and more than 100 buildings scattered about Budapest.

The predecessor of the ELTE Faculty of Special Education was Bárczi Gusztáv Teacher-Training College of Special Education, which was founded in 1900 for the further education of primary-school teachers. Later during its operation, it became a higher education institution offering first-degree, second-degree, and non-degree certificate training programmes as well. It joined Eötvös Loránd University in 2000, this was renamed as Bárczi Gusztáv Faculty of Special Education.

For more than 9 decades, it was the only higher education institution in the country providing training in special needs education and therapy. It is still the only establishment in Hungary offering study programmes in 8 fields of disabilities. The education of people with sensory and mobility impairment can only be studied here. There are 5 institutes (Atypical Behaviour and Cognition, General Theory of Special Education, Psychology of Special Needs, Disability and Social Participation, Methodology of Special Education and Rehabilitation) and other educational units at the faculty.

The faculty functions as a centre for research in special education in Hungary and in the Eastern and Central European region. The multidisciplinary scientific work at the faculty relies both on the methodology of natural and life sciences (biology, medicine and psychology) and on the approaches of social and human sciences, and it maintains intensive relations with law and political sciences and technological developments.

The main focuses of the R&D&I strategy are:

  • Multidisciplinary experimental research of disabilities and atypical development
  • Diagnostic and assistive technological developments
  • Disability studies
  • Research in the field of human and social sciences, aiming to establish an inclusive society and examining and supporting the social participation of people with special needs.
  • Undergraduate research

Study programmes

  • BA (undergraduate) training
  • MA (postgraduate) training
  • PhD (doctoral) training
  • Other training programmes and courses

ELTE Faculty of Social Sciences is the country’s largest social science education centre with numerous, internationally renowned faculty members. This not only guarantees the highest level of instruction, but also ensures that our school – besides strict academic requirements – has an open and collegial atmosphere where students enjoy studying. The staff’s preparedness and willingness to help makes our institution a truly inspiring space.

We have a faculty with outstanding professional knowledge, and we know what kind of employees employers look for on the job market. The researchers and professionals who teach our courses make every effort to incorporate the results of humanities and natural sciences, to back up theory with practical approaches, and to go beyond skills development to inspire students to critical social thought, to seek constructive solutions, and to have an open worldview.

Today the Faculty of Social Sciences consists of:

  • 6 Institutes: Economics, Empirical Studies, Political and International Studies, Social Studies, Social Relations
  • 14 Departments: Economics, Heath Policy and Health Economics, Statistics, Social Research Methodology, European Studies, Political Sciences, Social Work, Social Policy, Minority Studies, Cultural Anthropology, Social Psychology, Sociology, History of Sociology, Historical Sociology
    The Faculty of Social Sciences offers…
  • 5 bachelor’s programs: BA in Applied Economics, BA in International Relations, BA in Social Sciences, BA in Social Work, BA in Sociology
  • 11 master’s programs:  MA in Community and Civil Development Studies, MA in Economic Analysis, MA in Ethnic and Minority Studies, MSc in Health Policy, Planning and Financing, MA in Human Ecology, MA in International Relations, MA in Social Policy, MA in Social Work, MSc in Survey Statistics, MA in Sociology, MA in Cultural Anthropology
  • 3 doctoral programs: Interdisciplinary Social Research, Sociology, Social Policy

At Faculty of Special Education, there are 3 main types of activities and experiences related a topic of this project:

  1. Research and development activities to support the process of transition from institutional care to community-based services

Those activities are cited here from the recent experience of the experts would be involved in the current application which were implemented to enhance the social inclusion of persons with various disabilities with special focus on supported living models and practices.

  • The project called “The bio-psycho-social background of lifelong learning process on social inclusion” (TÁMOP 4.2.1/B-09/1/KMR-2010-0003 supported by ESF) aimed to explore those aspects which might hinder persons with various disabilities to be active in society. Special attention was taken to collect detailed information with qualitative methodology on the biography of persons with intellectual disabilities living in large residential institutions. These results are used in our educational practice within Ba and Ma courses.
  • The project called “Nothing about us without us! Belief or knowledge? ACTION!” aimed to support the social inclusion of persons living with psychosocial disabilities as they often face discrimination in their daily life in Hungary. In line with UN CRPD – especially article 1 and article 19 – our partnership organized workshops, collected resources, created 3 policy recommendations, 4 education materials and 1 curriculum for Universities, as we believe this knowledge transfer may reduce prejudices of professionals and support the self-advocacy of persons living with psychosocial disabilities. The project was implemented with the financial support of the EGT / Norwegian Civil Fund between 1/9/2013 – 31/8/2014.

2. Workshops and conferences

Those activities are collected here from the recent experience of the experts would be involved in the current application which were to disseminate update information of European and Hungarian models and promising practices.

  • In Hungary in 2011 according to the 1257/2011.(VII.21) Governmental Decree a Board of Experts on the Transition from Institutional to Community-based Care was established. The Members of the Board with the aim of sharing information and knowledge on this process with all stakeholders to support the transition organized its annual conference (Budapest, 30th January 2014) in partnership with our University Faculty. The conference served as an international forum for further and fruitful discussion for professionals, self-advocates and academic people.


  • The workshop series called “Bárczi Special Tea Afternoon” involved sixteen high quality lectures and a panel discussion on the transition process. We highlighted topics as the clients’ aspects, the availability of community based services, the quality of these services, the labor market possibilities of persons with disabilities, promising practices of NGOs all over the country. The workshops were organized between 1/9/2013 and 19/6/2014.

3. Effect on policy making

We mention here those activities of our experts which are to support policy making via direct knowledge transfer with regard of the transition process

  • Our University Faculty provided the first president and provides still one member for the Board of Experts on the Transition from Institutional to Community-based Care.
  • Our University Faculty provides two members for the Justice Ministry’s Human Rights Working Group which forum is to highlight all hindering aspects with regard of the active and full participation of persons with disabilities in the Hungarian society.

Faculty of Social Sciences, is deeply committed to the human and social rights of disabled people. This is reflected both in its research and training related activities and in its everyday practice.

Disability related issues are in the centre of several courses (e.g. situation of disabled people in Hungary, social work with disabled persons); students of the human rights specialisation (International Studies MA) focus among others on the problems related to equal opportunities and various students of the social policy project course make research on the situation of disabled people.

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