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11/25/2011, Barcelona

The Abertis Foundation is promoting a road education project which provides employment for young people with intellectual disabilities





The abertis foundation, Barcelona City Council and the Catalan Down's Syndrome Foundation are promoting the Road Volunteer project as a pilot scheme in three schools in the Sarrià-Sant Gervasi district. Six young people with Down's syndrome or a mental disability are observing the behaviour of pedestrians at school starting and leaving times. The initiative aims to improve road safety around schools, as well as integrating young people with Down's syndrome into the employment world.

The schools participating in this initiative are the Orlandai infant and primary school, the Sagrat Cor school and the Dolors Monserdà-Santapau infant and primary school, as well as the L'Oreneta nursery school.

The six "road volunteers" are observing and taking note of the attitudes and behaviour of pedestrians at school starting and leaving times. The conduct being observed is linked to the road education provided by the Barcelona city police in schools: whether pupils and the adults who accompany them walk along the streets and move around properly and safely, paying attention to and observing traffic signs; whether they use vehicle safety equipment, such as seat belts or helmets; whether they respect other pedestrians, etc.

Once a fortnight, a team of road education monitors from the Catalan Down's Syndrome Foundation evaluates the data collected by the volunteers. The project is expected to end on 23 December, at which time a decision will be made on whether to extend it based on the assessment made of the pilot scheme.

The chosen road volunteers form part of the Work Initiation Course of the Catalan Down's Syndrome Foundation and have an employment contract. They have been given theoretical and practical training by the Barcelona city police and the Catalan Down's Syndrome Foundation.

Those behind the project

In order to carry out this pilot scheme, a collaboration agreement has been established between the abertis foundation, the Catalan Down's Syndrome Foundation and the Barcelona City Council, through the Sarrià-Sant Gervasi District, the Municipal Education Institute (IMEB) and the Prevention, Safety and Mobility area.

Barcelona City Council

Road education is one of the Barcelona City Council's priorities and one of the most important prevention activities carried out by the city police in the Barcelona schools.

As far as the Barcelona government is concerned, road safety, particularly around schools, is one of the main objectives it is working on in order to convey to pupils and those moving around the areas surrounding schools the importance of responsible behaviour, social interaction, a sense of civic responsibility and the need to improve safety in journeys to and from schools. This commitment to road safety is being reinforced by the creation of school paths, which help to increase pupils' personal independence whilst also ensuring that they enjoy the highest level of safety in this environment.

Catalan Down's Syndrome Foundation

The mission of the Catalan Down's Syndrome Foundation is to improve the quality of life of people with Down's syndrome or other intellectual disabilities, making it possible for them to be fully integrated into society and achieve the highest level of dignity, respect, self-determination and wellbeing. The organisation supports the whole family from prenatal diagnosis and birth of the baby through to adult age.

Abertis foundation

This project has been promoted by the abertis Foundation, which is aware of the priority given by the City Council to the road safety of the school population. The Foundation always finds the right partners for each project and supports the public administrations responsible for managing road safety policies.
 The Foundation is one of the responses to corporate social responsibility provided by abertis, one of the leading international mobility and transport infrastructure management groups. The Foundation works in the social, environmental and cultural fields. It also promotes an extensive Road Safety Programme which includes research promotion, the organisation of scientific conferences, road education for schools and awareness-raising campaigns.

abertis foundation

This project has been promoted by the abertis foundation, which is aware of the priority given by the City Council to the road safety of the school population. The Foundation always finds the right partners for each project and supports the public administrations responsible for managing road safety policies.

The Foundation is one of the responses to corporate social responsibility provided by abertis, one of the leading international mobility and transport infrastructure management groups. The Foundation works in the social, environmental and cultural fields. It also promotes an extensive Road Safety Programme which includes research promotion, the organisation of scientific conferences, road education for schools and awareness-raising campaigns.



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