UCU has started a new certificate program Life Activities and Human Disabilities. The goal of the specialists’ school is to provide the course’s participants with necessary knowledge and skills to involve people with disabilities in education, employment, and social life in light of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and statutes provided for by the Law for Rehabilitation in the Field of Health Care.

Some 40 experts took part in the program. The trainers and mentors were managers who work with people with disabilities in Italy.

participants learning about how to manage for people with disabilities

UCU has started a new program for managers who work with people with disabilities.

The organizers of the course: UCU School of Bioethics, UCU Health Sciences Faculty, UCU Social Sciences Faculty, the Center of Bioethics and the Humanities of Sacred Heart Catholic University (Rome, Italy), and the IRCCS Foundation of the Carlo Besta Neurological Institute (Milan, Italy).

Matilde Leonardi is academic director of the Life Activities and Human Disabilities School. She is a neurologist, pediatrician, specialist in bioethics and disability management, and also Director at the Neurology and Rehabilitation Department of the Carlo Besta Neurological Institute in Milan. Ms. Leonardi opened the program with two lectures on inclusivity. Massimo Antonelli, one of the course’s organizers and Director of the University Centre of Bioethics and Sciences of Life at Sacred Heart Catholic University (Rome, Italy), gave an online greeting.

Matilde Leonardi and Svitlana Kohut speaking about disabilities

Matilde Leonardi and Svitlana Kohut

“Despite the terror that your country is living through, we also see much good: friendships, humaneness, and a strong spirit. We are teaching this course so that together we can form a new generation of managers to work with people with disabilities. The administration of Sacred Heart Catholic University decided to support this course because, for us, friendship between our countries is important, as is the development of a common language in the field of public health and inclusive policies.” So said Matilde Leonardi in her greeting.

Matilde Leonardi added that the course is maximally practical and the participants will analyze real cases faced by those who work with people with disabilities and that the developed program will be published as an example for making new policies in questions of inclusion.

Participants of the program for managers who work with people with disabilities

Participants of the program for managers who work with people with disabilities

The course will provide six academic credits. The school’s task is to create in Ukraine a new generation of managers who work with people with disabilities. The lectures will be held from March to July 2024 online two days a month. From August to October the participants will work on a project and in November 2024 a summary assessment and test will be given.

Volodymyr Turchynovskyy, Dean of the UCU Social Sciences Faculty, stated: “This program is an opportunity to build the culture of an inclusive society: new relations, mutual exchange, and support. I consider that potential students are not only those who directly work in the medical field but also those who help build this culture for us: in architecture, communications, and education. This course is an invitation and a request to be included in this process of formation.”

Volodymyr Turchynovskyy speaking at the podium

Volodymyr Turchynovskyy, Dean of the UCU Social Sciences Faculty

Oksana Hdyrya, an assistant professor at the Department of Rehabilitation and Non-traditional Medicine at Danylo Halytskyi National Medical University in Lviv and director of the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Acute Conditions and Restorative Treatment of Children at Okhmatdyt, is sure that this course will help solve daily professional problems of specialists who work with people with disabilities and build an inclusive society in Ukraine: “It’s very important to analyze successful world experience, to study it and not simply copy it, but adapt it to Ukrainian realities, think through and create an effective model.”

Oksana Hdyrya speaking at the podium

Oksana Hdyrya, assistant professor at the Department of Rehabilitation and Non-traditional Medicine at Danylo Halytskyi National Medical University in Lviv

Matilde Leonardi emphasized that the culture of inclusion needs to be built on various levels: “Inclusivity is about equal rights on three main levels: legislation, infrastructure (for example, transport and housing), and service (for example, health care, education).”

Fr. Ihor Boyko speaking at the podium

Fr. Ihor Boyko, Head of the UCU School of Bioethics

The presentation of the course was an opportunity to hold a discussion on the culture of an inclusive society, which at the Forum of Integrated Human Development was led by: Lyubov Halan, co-founder of Pryntsyp; Oleksandr Slavskyi former director of the educational unit of the Superhumans Center; Khrystyna Kovtsun, head of the Legal Clinic of the UCU Law School; Mariya Frey, member of the Board of Public Broadcasting; and Anastasiya Shyroka, Assistant Professor of the UCU Department of Psychology.