Fun without frontiers

Students from Adeje’s diversity centre visit the new ‘park for all’

Students from the Adeje centre for individuals with functionality diversity paid a visit to the new ‘park for all’, the inclusive playground opened last month in Las Torres. This is now the biggest park of its kind in the borough.

The playground has been furnished with equipment that can be used by every child, regardless of mobility needs or diversity, with no physical barriers to enjoy the park’s installations. All the equipment is at ground level so children in wheelchairs are able to use them too.

Among the new equipment are a basket swing, an active wall, a truck passage, a train, a multi-coloured little house, and a swing adapted for wheelchair users, exclusively for children with mobility challenges. The park is designed to encourage healthy play, safety, and group socialisation as well as sensory stimulation, improve motor skills and sharpen auditory sensitivity for those with hearing difficulties.

Alongside the playground there is a picnic area for families to relax and have a snack, and sit together and enjoy the area as a community space. The tables are close to trees and with a perfect view of the playground which has fences and soft-fall surface material.

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Have wings, will fly

The Adeje council has awarded companies who have partnered the council in a scheme to help those with special needs to find work

Recently the CDTCA hosted an event during which the mayor, José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga, recognised a number of private companies who have partnered the council in helping individuals with special needs find work. The scheme is called ALAS (Acompañamiento Labarol para el Avance Social/work partnering for social advancement), and the word ‘alas’ also means wings.

The Mare Nostrum Resort, Limpiezas Domínguez, Hotel Suites Villa María, H10 Costa Adeje Palace and the Hard Rock Café Tenerife were awarded for their participation in the scheme, with recognitions for others, companies and individuals, who have worked to make a real difference. Also present were representatives of nine new teams who are about to embark on a work programme adapted to the needs of individuals with special needs!

José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga said, “there is a lot of inequality in our society, and we have to redress the balance where were can, to give those with special needs the help they require. This is something we have to continue to work to improve upon and change”. This is why the ALAS programme was born, he said, “because we know that unless we work together as a society we don’t advance as a society, what we are doing is vindicating a right.

“I am hoping for and would encourage companies and families to work together to move this project forward; we certainly won’t want to move backwards in the fight for equality of all persons”.

The ALAS programme is based on a “work with assistance” principle, and was introduced to the borough by the department for diversity in 2013. It’s main aim is to offer individuals with special needs the opportunity to improve their quality of life through seeking employment in the best possible conditions for their inclusion in the world of work. Engaged in the project are a team of professionals who accompany the new employees when and where needed, offering those individuals the right to seek ‘ordinary’ work, and more independence.

The new employees will have their ‘wing’ assistants with them until they can fly solo. And thanks to the implication of private companies in the scheme and their confidence in its operation and end-goal, it is working for both individuals and their families, who are finding a new world of opportunities opening up for them.

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Music as a life learning tool

Adeje council’s music therapy project for special needs persons

The Adeje Council has presented a music therapy project, ‘Timba’, for special needs individuals. With the municipal School of Music and the Los Olivos centre for functional diversity, under councillors Carmen Rosa González Cabrera and Carmen Lucía Rodríguez respectively, the programme will b open to anyone in Adeje who is special needs, with the main aim being to bring music to the whole population. “This is a programme to use music as physical, psychological and social tool in improving the lives of individuals”, said Carmen Rosa González.

“Music as therapy is not just an idealistic notion in the search for ‘curative power”, said Carmen Lucia Rodríguez. “The therapeutic effects of music are the results of professional methods that are properly applied”.

Those interested in signing up for classes can do so through the Adeje School of Music, with classes in the mornings and afternoons on offer. It is thought the morning hours would suit adults with some form of special needs and the afternoon sessions might be better suited to people with functional diversity who are attending regular educational centres in the mornings.

Among the aims will be the “improvement of communication through music, listening, dancing or playing, transmitting feelings and ideas, improving interpersonal relationships and self-awareness, explained Carmen Lucia Rodríguez. The teachers will focus on multi-sensory stimulation, self-expression, helping to develop intellectual capacity, improve cognitive abilities and psychomotor functions such as spatial perception, motor skills and co-ordination.

The project has already completed a pilot phase in the Los Olivos centre with a high level of satisfaction reported from students and teachers. “Now we want to take it a step further and open the programme to everyone so we need the School of Music to come on board, as here we have the installation and the teaching staff who are able to become involved in the project”, said the councillor.

Carmen Rosa González added that “attention to those with special needs if part of the protocol of the School of Music. Currently we have a dozen students who have some form of disability and we are interested in opening the school’s doors to many more people in particular to what is, in some ways, a ‘vulnerable’ section of our society. The school is 100% behind the project”:








Theatre marking the special differences

The Adeje Cultural Centre will host the 11th theatrical event for people with diverse needs on Thurday June 11th, with the participation of members of the Guía de Isora occupational centre, the Candelaria Arcoiris centre, Orobal, based in Los Cristianos, and the Los Olivos functional diversity centre. Entrance is free and the shows begin at 6pm.

“This is the only event of its kind in the islands and is a firm fixture in the Adeje cultural calendar, very popular with the public,” commented a council representative, adding that they were hoping for a full house again this year.

The users of the participating centres have played a very active role in choosing the show/play they will present, casting and presentation.

The Los Olivos centre has 119 users as well as working with 65 more individuals outside the centre. The centre works with people in the fields of education, integration, preparing many socially, helping them enter the labour market, strengthening their personal autonomy and independence and their ability to develop as individuals and improve their quality of life and that of their families.

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‘Invisible’ women with special needs

Yesterday the Tenerife Cabildo was in Adeje to co-launch the Magarza Sur project, an initiative to empower and enhance the personal development and social inclusion potential of women with disabilities.
The project is driven by an organisation called CoordiCanarias, who assist people with physical challenges, as well as Sinpromi (a Tenerife organisation established to protect the rights of those with special needs), the councils of Adeje and Arafo, and Hey!Participa. According to the Cabildo equality councillor Estefanía Castro, similar projects in La Laguna and Santa Cruz were successful and now “we are bringing the activities to the south to meet an existing need for women with ‘functional diversity’ outside the municipal zones”, in particular because in many cases “disabled women are considered invisible”, she said.

The Adeje equality politics councillor, Carmen Lucía Rodríguez spoke of the double discrimination suffered by women who have special needs and the challenge and the obligation for public bodies was to do all they could to “ensure a society that was equal and just for all.”
Arafo’s social services councillor, Natacha Afonso, invited other boroughs to get involved and Sinpromi’s Dulce Torres said now was the time “to break down stereotypes and prejudices”.
Equality of opportunities is very important for women with special needs as they have been proven to suffer more and increased discrimination in terms of education, employment opportunities and are more susceptible to violence and abuse. The objective of the project is not simply to highlight the reality of the situation of women in this situation but also reduce discriminations and assist in personal development and self-esteem.

Special Theatre for Special People

adeje-ENCUENTRO DE TEATRO DE PERSONAS CON DISCAPACIDAD (5)Adeje hosts VII Theatre Meeting for people with special needs

The Adeje Cultural Centre Auditorium is hosting the seventh Theatre Meeting for special needs individuals on Thursday June 12th. The event is organised by the Adeje department for special needs care under councillor Carmen Rosa González Cabrera. More than fifty people from the Occupational Therapy Centres of Guía de Isora, Candelaria, Arona and Adeje will attend the event.

The councillor said, “it is an honour for us to be hosting this event for the seventh time, an event which is staged to emphasise the value of the creative and expressive work of the users of these centres”:

Carmen Rosa González Cabrera added that “in previous years we have seen an excellent level of participation and we see merit in continuing with the event because it is a manifestation of the relevance placed on the expressive and creative process which persons with different abilities can achieve. The event allows them to project their artistic endeavours, and chose which theatrical work and character they wish to interpret within that framework”.


The event begins at 6pm with participants from the following associations and centres – Orobal in Los Cristianos; Rosas del Guache in Arona; Arcoíris in Candelaria; Guía de Isora and the Los Olivos Occupational Centre in Adeje.

This is a pioneering initiative in the Canary Islands, and has been very well received by the Adeje public, who fill the theatre in the Adeje Cultural Centre every year. In this way too the public have shown their appreciation of the creative and interpretive work achieved by those who attend the occupational centres as well as that of the collectives working with them. Entry is free.


20 Special Years

san juan 3 (1)Celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Asociación San Juan
The Adeje based Asociación San Juan is celebrating twenty years of working to improve the quality of life for people with physical and mental challenges.
According to the councillor with responsibility for people with special needs, Carmen Rosa González Cabrera, “the Asociación San Juan, along with the Los Olivos Centre for the Disabled are reference points for care and attention for people with different needs in the borough of Adeje and have contributed greatly to improving lives.”

The Asociación San Juan, which bases its educational programme on the Waldorf Method, is a centre for curative education and social therapy. The Waldorf Method is one which stresses the role of the imagination in learning and places a strong value on integrating intellectual, practical, and artistic themes, integrating family, learning and work into the cultural life of the person with learning difficulties or social challenges. It is a method which favours social, cultural and profession integration for adults who have developmental problems and who need special care.

According to Fidel Ortega Dueñas, the educative director of the San Juan centre, “the implantation of an education and a way of life which promotes human rights and a level of auto- determination, and the integration of individuals who need special assistance are ideals on which the work of the Asociación San Juan is based and in recent years in collaboration with the regional Canarian government we have been able to offer social and social-health services.

To mark the anniversary the association held a number of workshops, and on Monday May 26th there will a theatre performance of “El Principito” in the Adeje Cultural Centre at 7.30pm, entry is free.

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Real Jobs For Real People

Council and Alas team members meet with potential employeers

Council and Alas team members meet with potential employeers

At the launch of the Adeje council’s ‘Alas’ (Wings) programme the talk was about the creation of real jobs for people with special needs, jobs that were more than a token nod in the direction of this sector of society.
‘Alas’ is being developed by the Adeje departments of social welfare and disability and the team at the Adeje Occupational Centre whose main function is to develop participation by their users (those people with special needs) in significant activities and contribute to new levels of personal development. This in turn will lead to a reinforcement of their independence and an improvement in their quality of lfe. The centre cares for people between the ages of 21 and 65 who attend on a daily basis, and provides rehabilitation services and occupational workshops and offers the other family members of the special needs person a break, often much needed.
‘Alas’ is a series of actions based on orientation and individual attention in a work place, with professional qualified trainers, whose aim is to facilitate the social and professional integration of the special needs person into a work place, with equality of treament in that workplace. The programme aims to change the perspective of the special needs person and move them from the occupational centre into an open work environment according to their wishes, needs and abilities.
The programme is designed to work with cerebral palsy sufferers, those with intellectual needs with a recognised disability level of 33 % or more and persons with physical needs or sensory disabilities of 65 % or more. According to the organisers there are already 20 persons in training with a number almost ready to begin their new careers.
The ‘Alas’ programme seeks to ensure that the new employee is integrated into the workplace, and each individual receives training for specific work placements as well as while on the job – in other words the idea is to move away from across-the-board repetitive work practises and allow the special needs person develop skills for a specific job. Families are also involved in the programme and the development of each individual person’s employment prospects as are the companies that are hiring. And once in place there will be ongoing assesment.
During December members of the Alas programme and the council, through the relevant department headed up by Carmen Rosa González Cabrera have meetings with potential employees, based in Adeje, and believe that soon up to 20 % of those using the Occupational Centre will be eligible to enter the job market, with up to 60 % of those in Functional Rehabilitation also moving towards full integration. For business who take part in the programme they will be eligible for financial benefits reduction in taxes depending on the kind of contract they can offer the special needs person. Very much a win-win situation for all involved.