Profile of the moderator

INV Focus Group − Profile of the moderator


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 and training of trainers.
  • A different kind of trainer, like a pedagogist or a person with similar qualifications, who has been working in adult training for at least two years.
  • A professional without a specific degree 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 such huge cognitive and behavioural problems to be considered as severely disabled.

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

NB a question about the definition of who is a person with Ds who should be considered, as severely disabled should be placed during focus groups. Professionals themselves should find and agree about a single common definition. The pedagogical model will be designed on the basis of the past and understanding of the professionals with regard to the final beneficiaries of the project. The innovative idea linked to the model is the fact that it does not start from the person with a disability but from the fact that professionals must work on themselves.


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

From the application, regarding 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 caretaking process, as addressed to the person as a whole and not just to the illness that he/she suffers from. The professional should help the person develop their own ‘personal resources, their capacity to face difficulties and 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 the persons potential, in order to increase their skills in reaching specific goals and obtaining a leading role in his/her own life".


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