Since the environment a person lives in affects his/her behavior and functioning, the International Classification of Functioning describes health taking into account the social and the environmental context. The ICF model was officially endorsed by all 191 WHO Members on 22 May 200 as the international standard to describe and measure health and disability.
Our contribution in the Tuscany Region
The ICF framework has been adopted in more than 14 health districts and it has become a standard in many of these areas. Among the districts which adopted the ICF model it’s worth mentioning the district from the North West area of Florence, leader of the A.L.I. (Autonomy, Work, Inclusion) project. The project aims at favoring the job placement of persons with disabilities and vulnerable individuals, and it is funded by the European Social Fund.
We have been in charge of developing an experimental procedure to assess the employability of persons with disabilities. The assessment procedure was developed through a process that featured the involvement of more than 100 participants (e.g. social workers, nurses, doctors, educators). The evaluation form, the output of the experimentation, is named VINIL (Integrated Evaluation for Employment and Work Inclusion). It features several sections, among which an entire one dedicated to “functionings”, “structures” and “activities”. Healthcare professional were trained to be able to assist the beneficiary in filling in the form.
The ICF framework allows to shift the focus from the clinical picture to the person. The form elaborated according to the ICF model gives a holistic representation of the person by taking into consideration the social aspects of disability and enhances the individual functioning in order to find the best opportunity for job inclusion. Self-assessment is another innovative feature of the procedure we elaborated: the beneficiary actively contributes to the evaluation process.
The district of the North-West area of Florence, leader of the A.L.I. project, is surely among the most interested and enthusiastic health districts involved in the experimentation. Some of the most recent data show that more than 50 people with disabilities ,who took part in the A.L.I. project, are participating in paid internships and 11 companies have joined the project!