Difficulties in the early stages of acquiring a disability

Difficulties in the early stages of acquiring a disability

The Readjusting to Life project, co-funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union, has developed during the months of April and May the actions for a qualitative study on the needs of people with acquired disabilities and their families in the early stages of acquiring the disability.

The study, which is being carried out in Greece, Turkey, Great Britain and Spain, includes a survey of resources and good practices in each of the programme’s partner countries, focus groups and individual interviews with people with acquired disabilities.

In this study, among others, Teresa Barrera Soto, a 47-year-old married woman with a beautiful daughter, was interviewed. Teresa acquired her disability as a result of a problem during the birth of her daughter.

Teresa said that when she became disabled, she found herself in a new situation, where it was not easy to find the source of information, the resources to ask for and where to go. She, as well as her family, found these resources in health and rehabilitation services in the early stages of acquiring a disability. But, she points out that it was her contacts with associations of people with disabilities that were the most important resources of support, and that other people with similar disabilities gave her the opportunity to have more than effective guidance, which helped her to manage many situations unknown to her so far.

In addition, her adaptation process, guided by the experience shared with other people who had already faced this situation of acquiring a disability, was her most important support. Above all, because the contact with these mentors allowed her to be supported in new situations that she had to face in her daily life, and about which she could not find information in other resources: sexuality, management of emotions, leisure…

Thanks to interviews such as those conducted with Teresa, very interesting results were gathered for the study that will contribute to the development of an innovative online guide, which aims to create a channel for people with acquired disabilities to readjust their social life and reintegrate smoothly into it.

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