MOL - My Own Life. Promoting the Inclusion and Independence of Visually Impaired 18-25 Year Old Young People

P4 Skilled and socially inclusive region

4.1. More people benefiting from stronger Central Baltic communities

Southern Finland - Estonia

01.09.2020 - 31.08.2022

€252 038

€198 650

Project Summary:

Visually impaired young people are invisible to society and live a secluded life. Their education level is lower and unemployment rates higher. They live with their parents even at the adult age of 18-25 years and older. They are clearly isolated from the rest of society and their peers, yet their needs and requests for services are unknown both in Estonia and Finland. The aim of this project is to find new ways for working with young people with visual impairment to improve their feeling of coping and life management. Through these changes we hope to promote independent living, studying, working and overall inclusion. To develop efficient ways of reaching these goals, we need to compare the situation in both countries and to find models for reaching visually impaired young people.

Both in Estonia and in Finland, the situation of the visually impaired young people is highly polarized: while the majority of the young people with visual impairment are struggling there is a minority that is doing exceptionally well. With the help of this minority, we aim to find out what obstacles visually impaired young people are facing that complicate studying and working and to look into the factors that make moving out and independent living challenging. We will then look for ways to overcoming these obstacles. One known factor are parents that can be overprotective.

To reach the actual goal of this project, we will organize workshops for the target group and their parents. These workshops will consist of peer support groups and guidance by professionals and mentors, aiming to offer concrete help and solutions to the problems that cause isolation. The experience and ideas we gain from these workshops will further help us to offer better services for the visually impaired youth in both countries.

Lead Partner

Näkövammaisten liitto ry

Country: FI

Partner budget: 155.825 EUR

Amount of ERDF funding: 116.868 EUR ERDF

Project Partners

Eesti Pimedate Liit

Country: EE

Partner budget: 96.213 EUR

Amount of ERDF funding: 81.781 EUR ERDF

Achieved results

Project result in category -
Improved community

MOL promoted social inclusion of visually impaired young people

MOL project promoted the social inclusion of the visually impaired young people aged 18-25 in both Finland and Estonia. This project focused on increasing independence and empowerment of the target group in both countries by promoting their potential to study, work and live independently.
The project developed a new model for rehabilitation and services for the target group. Basis for the new model was created through pilots which were implemented for the target groups with a strong support from peers. The project involved 14 visually impaired young people to their workshops. During the workshops peer support and encouragement from peers was one of the most valued elements of the workshops. Participation in the workshops had a positive impact on young people behaviour and self-impression. They clearly got empowered and felt more confident to take part in new tasks.

The project experiences including the model for rehabilitation and services for the visually impaired young people is collected in guidebooks – “Näkövammaiset nuoret aktiivisina toimijoina” and “Minu enda elu”. The guides offer support and concrete advice for the visually impaired young people themselves, but also to those people that are part of their lives, for example parents, teachers or rehabilitation workers.

Näkövammaiset nuoret aktiivisina toimijoina:
Minu enda elu:

Project page in database
At a glance
  • New model for rehabilitation and services for visually impaired young people
  • Workshops
  • Experience and models published in a guidebook