A moderátorral szembeni elvárások

INV Focus Group − Profile of the moderator


The moderator

The moderator of FG has the task to introduce the theme and lead participants to discuss the most interesting topics. He/she ensures that participants could not digress, circumvent or misunderstand the meaning of the questions.

He/she has to avoid any kind of competitiveness in the group. A good moderator must create confidence and a comfortable atmosphere, encourage all and be patient, avoid any hierarchical, aggressive or authoritarian attitude. He/she has to make easy the relations, the discussions, the understand and must create a good atmosphere in group.

A good moderator don’t need to talk too. His work consists to encourage the participants to talk; he must prevent someone could dominate the group and the discussion.

The focus group moderator:

• Can listen attentively with sensitivity and empathy

• Is able to listen and think at the same time

• Believes that all group participants have something to offer

• Has adequate knowledge of the topic

• Can keep personal views and ego out of the discussion

• Can appropriately manage challenging group dynamics

• Fixes the rules for cellular phones and for breaks


The assistant moderator

The assistant moderator must be able to do the following:

  • run a tape recorder during the session

  • take a synthetic but complete note of body language (proxemics and kinesics of the participants) or other little subtle but relevant clues

  • not participate in the discussion

  • He/she asks questions when invited

If it is necessary and required by moderator he/she makes an oral summary of the discussion so far.

Both moderator and assistant moderator are responsible for welcoming.


The leader of the FG should be:

  • A social professional like a psychologist, a social worker or an educator, who has been trained and has got experience on group dynamics nad training of trainers.
  • A different kind of trainer, like a pedagogist or a person with similar qualifications, who has been working with adult training since at least two years.
  • One professional without specific degrees but substantially experienced with self help groups and training


Should we define the concept of PERSON WITH Down syndrome and severe problems or not?

One short definition of a person with Ds who is severely disabled(sDS) is already contained within the application introduced to the Commission: people with DS who have got such huge cognitive and behavioralproblems to be considered as severely disabled.

We could also add that they are people who need a permanent support and care for their daily life and/or don’t have the fundamental skills necessary to autonomously their personal relations.

NB: a question about the definition of who is a person with DS who should be considered as severely disabled should be put during focus groups. Professionals themselves should find and agree about one common definition. The pedagogical model will be designed on the basis of the past and understanding of the professionals about the final beneficiaries of the project. The innovative idea linked to the model is the fact that it doesn’t start from the person with disability but from the fact that professionals must work on themselves.


Which kinds of skills of the person with DS, the professional should be able to detect, in order to design the pedagogical model?

From the application, about what should be observed in order to design the pedagogical and educational model: “It is necessary to develop and promote a new idea of people with sDS , where the syndrome and its recovery are not the focus anymore  and services are not mainly assistance oriented  but education becomes the essential factor aimed at the acquisition of autonomy, planning skills and rights of citizenship.

This means that services should develop an innovative and empowerment-focused approach.

This is the reason why  INV intends to:

  • make professionals acquire a global and evolutionary vision of the person with Ds;
  • make professionals understand and share the taking care process, as addressed to the whole person and not just to her/his ill component. The professional should help the person  to develop her own ‘personal resources, face difficulties, reset personal relations also by detecting  the evolutionary tasks the person and his/her family have to cope with in that precise phase of their life;
  • make professionals activate empowerment processes and extend  potentialities of the person , in order to increase skills to attain specific objectives and get a leading role in his/her own life".


What has been said above makes necessary not to start from the person with intellectual disability but from the past of the professionals, as it will be done through focus groups.