Author: Istituto dei Sordi di Torino Fondazione Onlus


Like a Matryoshka, the University of Turin encompasses a number of children and grandchildren that we could define as real gems of cultural vivacity.

Logo DIVI Centro Studi Universitario per i Diritti e la Vita Independente

In this article, we want to focus on the DiVI Study Centre, born in 2016 within CIRCE (Interdepartmental Communication Research Centre) of the University of Turin.
The DiVI Study Centre, which stands for “Centro Studi per i Diritti e la Vita Indipendente” (Centre for the Study of Rights and Independent Living), aims to promote research experiences and social policies on the rights of people with disabilities. Taking the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the 17 Global Goals for Sustainable Development as its reference point and guidelines, the Centre supports and promotes inclusion projects for all, as well as training for future operators and support for families.

One of the largest and most active projects promoted by the DiVI Study Centre is the “Officina della vita indipendente” (Independent living workshop): this is an approach that promotes the skills and abilities of parents with children with disabilities aged 0 to 14. The course accompanies groups of parents in becoming aware of their skills and rights, aimed at taking over the direction of their children’s life path. This accompaniment takes place thanks to two conductors specialized in independent living education, supported by an experienced family. The Italian word “officina” means laboratory/garage and wants to emphasize the practical and workshop organisation of the meetings, while the term “independent living” explicitly refers to Article 19 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

The aim of the workshop is to support parents in the construction of their child’s independent life project and help them take the lead. This “direction” takes the form of managing the formal and informal network that revolves around the family and the social context in which it is inserted, considering the choices, preferences and relational styles of the members. The pathway aims to focus on the life goals for the child and orient the network so that everyone works concretely within the identified vision.

Since its first year of work in 2011, the independent living workshop has involved more than 100 families throughout Piedmont region and, from 2018, also Valle d’Aosta region.

On the website, it is possible to browse the individual projects in more detail:

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