The Partners

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The association of people with Down syndrome, their parents and guardians (AIPD) was officially established in Rome in 1979.
The association’s main objectives comprise of the following:

  • Provision of expert advice on all aspects of Down syndrome to families, social workers and teachers.
  • Promotion of full social and work inclusion for people with Down syndrome.
  • Circulation of up-to-date information on Down syndrome to social workers, organisations and members of the public
  • Advocate for best practice
  • Provision of the most accurate information relating to Down syndrome to the general public
  • Development and promotion of programmes aimed at achieving a fuller public appreciation and acceptance of persons with Down syndrome, their needs and individual roles in society.
  • Advocate on behalf of members and their families

AIPD provide the following services:

  • ‘Telephone D’ – a telephone consultancy service
  • Information and consultancy service
  • School and work inclusion observatories
  • Legal Advice service.
  • Library AIPD are members of ‘The European Down Syndrome Association’ (EDSA).

Sio2 Srl

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Website :

Sio2 srl. is a company providing hardware and software consultancy services. The organisation’s main client group comprise those in the fields of disability and social disadvantage.


Equal Opportunities Centre For Disabled People

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The Equal Opportunities Centre for Disabled People works to make sure that people with disabilities are treated the same way and has the same rights as everyone else. Sometimes we find areas where people with disabilities are not treated the same way as everybody else. Then we try to get the government or whoever else is in charge to change this.


Down Syndrome Ireland

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Down Syndrome Ireland (DSI) is a national charity supporting people with Down syndrome and their families. The organisation’s mission is to support people with Down syndrome in making their futures as complete as possible by providing them with the necessary structures to fulfil their potential.

DSI was founded in 1971 as a support group for parents and carers of people with Down syndrome. However, the remit and profile of the organisation has evolved significantly. A professionally staffed national office has over the last decade developed alongside the organisation’s voluntary committees.

The national office of DSI includes a team of specialists, a fundraising department and a members support / administration section all headed up by a chief executive officer. The DSI team provide both direct and indirect services to members, professionals and the wider public.The team of specialists are referred to as the ‘National Resource Team’ and comprise the following expert services:

  • Early Intervention
  • Education
  • Medical
  • Counselling/ Psychotherapy/ Drama Therapy
  • Independence

Since inception DSI has achieved much in areas of groundbreaking research, home teaching, inclusion in mainstream education and supports for independent living. In 2009 the 10th World Down Syndrome Congress will be held in Dublin from the 19th – 22nd August 2009. The congress website is


Project Aura

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Project Aura is a non-profit organisation. The objective of Project Aura is to improve the quality of life of it’s members through social and work inclusion programmes.

Project Aura comprises four programmes:

  1. A social skills and personal autonomy programme
  2. An individualised employment-training programme in the work place (with a job coach for the necessary time)
  3. A follow-up programme and ongoing training to ensure continued growth in a given employment position,
  4. Independent living programme.

Since 1989 Project Aura has provided advice and support services based on the individual capabilities of it’s participants. The organisation follows the methodology of ‘Supported Employment’.

Project Aura is also active in the design and implementation of quality systems, certification and labelling standards according to EU and ISO standards in the employment and education sectors.

Ramon Llull University – Blanquerna Faculty of Psychology Education and Sport Sciences

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The Blanquerna Faculty of Psychology, Education and Sport Sciences (Ramon Llull University, Barcelona) is an institution that provides training in the fields of education, psychology, sport sciences and speech therapy, whilst offering possibilities for practical experience in the professional world through projects and research.

Our aim is to ensure the highest quality of teaching through tuition in small groups, including tutorials and seminars.

The curricula available are:

  • Teacher Training Degree (Specialties Pre-school Education; Primary Education; Special Needs Education; Musical Education; Foreign Language Teaching –English; Physical Education)
  • Degree in Speech & Language Therapy
  • Degree in Psychology
  • Degree in Sports Science
  • Doctorate (Phd) and Postgraduate Studies
  • Masters Degree in “Early Intervention and Family”


Equal Partners Foundation

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Equal Partners is a parent-run, non-profit foundation providing support to over 200 partner families with children and adults with disabilities and/or learning difficulties.
Following the social model of disability as a guiding philosophy, all the support programmes are individualised and are delivered in the natural environment where the individual requires support, i.e. in homes, schools, places of work and recreation and the community at large. It is in these places that one can find our partners receiving support.

Equal Partners seeks to support people with disabilities and/or learning difficulties towards an independent and meaningful life within an inclusive society.

Faculty of Education, Department of Psychology for Inclusive Education

The programme for inclusive education at the University of Malta is responsible for training and research in the fields of disability and general learning difficulties.

It has been instrumental in the creation of courses and study units in the field of inclusive education both in general and with respect to specific areas of disability and learning difficulties e.g. children with autism, Down syndrome, dyslexia and children requiring the use of alternative and augmentative means of communication (AAC).

The programme collaborates with an NGO (Equal Partner Foundation and Dar tal-Providenza) as well as acting as consultants and conducting training and research in specific schools.

The department is regularly involved in organising seminars and workshops in these areas.

The programme further engages in international liaison with foreign universities including the University of Padova, Istituto Universitario delle Scienze Motorie, the University of Anaheim and St. Mary’s College, Belfast.

The department has been successful in running the ‘Comenius Project’ entitled ‘See-It’ in collaboration with Holland and Ireland, which has been instrumental in setting up courses and services in alternative and augmentative communication.


Down Foundation

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The Down Foundation was established in 1992 as a result of union of parents. Its aim is to improve the quality of life of persons with intellectual disability as guided by the principles of integration. Presently, the Down Foundation plays an instrumental role in the provision of education for people with intellectual disability in Hungary. Individualised advice and support services are provided to members and their families.

This organisation runs ‘gap filling’ institutes and programmes, which support members and their families (according to their differing needs), for example:

  • Two temporary residence halls
  • Day-time hall
  • Residence halls
  • ‘Down Ambulance’
  • Specialised dentistry services
  • Early-development centre
  • Specialised ‘Down-Nurse’ service.