On Friday 1st February, De Standaard, a well-respected Flemish newspaper, published an editorial written by Koen Deweer, the director of EASPD member KONEKT.
In the editorial, Koen describes how the societal system in Flanders limits young people who have a disability and makes it more difficult for them to reach their full potential. Young people with a disability are often forced to repeat their class in secondary education over and over again. Not only does this restrict young people in developing their skill set, it also curbs their self-confidence. These youngsters do not believe in their own talents any more.
Konekt shows through their methods that this system can be different. They provide a training and internship programme to people with a disability, and after this experience 83% of them stay working in the organisation they carried out their training in.
They also offer a learning model called ‘Brake-Out’, where they work with persons with disabilties for 3 years to enhance their capabilities.
But most of all it is the young people themselves who show that things can be different, like the dancers of Platform-K who show they have the talent to dance on a professional level. Koen says that together we should put more effort into creating a societal space where they can show all their talents.