The National Upper Secondary School for Physically Disabled Students (Riksgymnasiet för Rörelsehindrade) Gothenburg, Sweden

There are four National Upper Secondary Schools educating students with physical disabilities in four different regions within Sweden. The schools are located in Umeå (north), Stockholm (east coast), Kristianstad (south) and Gothenburg (west coast).
These four schools are community-based public upper secondary schools. An Individual Educational Plan is designed for each student. Students have the option of studying in small groups with other disabled students, or in a mainstream setting integrated in regular classes.
Each school offers services in three areas: Education curriculum, Rehabilitation services and Student housing.
Angered Upper Secondary School (Angeredsgymnasiet) is located in the northeast region of Gothenburg. It is a multi-cultural school with approximately 1000 students, of which about 40 participate in the National Upper Secondary School for Physically Disabled Students. The building is one storey, and the facilities are accessible for wheelchairs.
 

Students Selection
The National Upper Secondary School is intended for students with physical disabilities who are in need of therapy and special needs education. An application must be submitted on a special form to the National Agency for Special Needs Education and Schools. Admittance is primarily based on rehabilitation needs and a need for special needs education. The national government and the students’ home municipalities cover the costs of education, therapy, and the main bulk of living expenses. Students are however, required to pay a fee for room and board in student housing. For more information regarding the Swedish school system see: www.skolverket.se
 

Education Curriculum
Students are enrolled in a general upper secondary school curriculum. An Individual Educational Plan is designed with the student, caretakers, teachers, and therapists to meet each student´s educational and rehabilitation needs and desires.
In a small group context the school offers studies in the Art, Music and Drama Programme and the Introductory Programme. The students are also free to apply to other programmes at upper secondary schools within the region, where integrated studies can be arranged, with the support of special needs teachers and assistants.
The upper secondary curriculum is normally three years. However, the physically disabled student´s programme is extended by one year, because of the additional rehabilitation and training that is required.
 

Rehabilitation Services
The primary goal of the rehabilitation department is to prepare the students for transition to adulthood. During this phase, it is vital for the student to feel safe, to develop an identity, to gain independence, and to establish a social network.

The rehabilitation department is located within walking distance of the school. The department consists of the following rehabilitation team members: occupational therapists, physical therapists, speach and language pathologist, psychologists, and social workers.
The team is responsible for designing an Individual Treatment Plan (ITP).

Treatment is carried out on an individual and/or group basis after an assessment has been completed to determine the student’s needs and desires. After a couple of weeks, therapy becomes a normal part of the school day. To achieve the best possible results, the department must have close contact with local rehabilitation departments, technical aids centres, and other government agencies. A great deal of emphasis is placed on planning for future living accommodations, employment, and leisure activities.
 

Student Housing
Students come from different regions and some require housing. Students live in flats near the school that are standard living units which have been adapted for physically disabled students. Each student has his/her own bedroom and shares other areas of the flat with two or three other students. They have the opportunity to develop their independence and social skills, and to organize their daily lives. They take part in planning, shopping and cooking, and they are responsible for their own rooms. Personnel are on call around the clock to provide support and assistance.
 

On-going Projects:

“Practicum sites – a step towards employment” (September 2009 - August 2012)
The main objective of this project is to be able to offer every student in National Upper Secondary School for Physically Disabled Students (Riksgymnasiet för Rörelsehindrade) a practicum site outside of the school, thereby increasing their chances to gain employment after graduation. The aim is to give the students an opportunity to test their abilities, strengthen self-esteem, and self-confidence.

“Guidance through the transition process for parents and students” (February 2010 – January 2013)
The objective is to encourage and guide the students and their parents in dealing with transition into adulthood in a positive, proactive and empowering way.

These projects are financed by the Swedish Inheritance Fund, www.arvsfonden.se

2 2012-02-20
 

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