The local organization working on the deafblindness field APSOCECAT hosted the exchange program concerning good practice in the world of disability

Speaker in the visit organized by APSOCECAT

Representatives of Finnish disability agencies visited Catalonia with the objective of getting to know the work method of different centres known for their high quality and excellence. The visitors represented the Municipal Federation of Vaalijala and the Foundation for Intellectually Disabled People in the region of Savo (SAVAS). Around 25 people formed the group.


The visit organized by APSOCECAT had programmed three specific centres to see known for their high level of practice, the first being the Association Sant Tomàs an organization dedicated to the assistance of intellectually disabled people, and their families.

This covers the whole region of Osona, at 70 Km to the north from Barcelona city. The visitors could see, first hand, how the work service “Eina” and the work centre Tac Osona functioned, and check the labour integration of disabled people, in the gardening and cooking field.

The second organization was Ampans Foundation in Manresa, at 52 Km to the northwest from Barcelona city, where the visitors saw the installations of the occupational therapy centre called La Llum. Also seen was the school Jeroni de Moragas, one of the most important resources for special education in Catalonia, different residential centres, and The Garden centre.

On the second day the group visited the Ave Maria Foundation in Sitges, at 24 Km from Barcelona in the Mediterranean coast, which is as well dedicated to the assistance and help of disabled people. They have an interesting network of assistance that includes a centre of legal issues named Entitat d’incapacitació Garraf Legal and a robotic centre called Institut de Robòtica.

Finnish and Catalonian representatives

Finnish and Catalonian representatives at the final session at the APSOCECAT premises

APSOCECAT undertook the final session of the presentation regarding the differences between Finland and Catalonia in dealing with disability. On behalf of the Finnish, Jouko Hamalain, director of Savas, and Ilkka Jokinen, general manager of the Federation Municipal Vaalijala participated. On behalf of the Catalonians were representatives of the Welfare Minister, the Province of Barcelona and of the Institute of People with Disability of Barcelona. There were also presentations of the organizations visited and of the APSOCECAT as an association working on the disability field.

The visitors commented on the high quality of the centres they visited. The difficulties they confront were highlighted and exposed how the good practices they recently knew could help to find alternative solutions. The sessions gave way to possible opportunities for network collaboration.