Environmental Education programs developed in the context of Special Education are quantitatively limited and the training of those involved in Special Education for the implementation of Environmental Programs incomplete. However, Environmental Education and Special Needs Education can be linked, as both sectors seek to cultivate respect for diversity and promote trainees’ participation. Based on modern pedagogical views, the diversity of disabled people does not deprive them of their right and ability to engage in social and environmental issues as active citizens. Environmental Education is therefore a way of social inclusion, acceptance and active participation for all, including people with disabilities, by promoting their awareness of environmental issues.
For that reason, the Mixed Living Center – Daily Care Activity & Training for Disabled People “Spring Children” and the Environmental Organization for the protection of the aquatic ecosystems iSea launched in March 2017 a very interesting cooperation aimed at raising awareness and Center’s beneficiaries education in the field of environmental protection.
This specific Action, titled “Only all together we can! In Nature, there are no discriminations”: a program of environmental education and awareness raising for people with disabilities, was funded by the Ioannis S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation under the “Support Points” program, a joint initiative of the Public Benefit Foundation TIMA, the Public Benefit Foundation John S. Latsis, the Hellenic Hope Public Benefit Organization and the Bodossakis Foundation.
In the second phase, three external actions took place in places of rich natural beauty in the wider region of Imathia where efforts were made on behalg of applying new knowledge about environmental protection.
The third and final phase included the writing of this guide aiming at distribution to all Centers dealing with Disabled People as a proposal for an environmental program implemented in the field of special education. The Guide to Environmental Education in Special Education is an aid to those involved in special education who are interested in dealing with environmental issues through educational processes.
This guide is divided into three parts: a) the theoretical framework, where the concepts of Special Education and Environmental Education are presented in a few words; b) the practical part, detailing the activities, games and material used during the implementation of the Action and c) the results of this Action, describing the benefits to the participants.