NGO “Center of psycho-social support “My Family” was founded in 2015 by 2 psychologists, therapists Hanna Usatenko and Yuliia Zavhorodnia in Brovary city, Kyiv region, Ukraine. The aim of the NGO is to support parenting and families raising children with disabilities in the community. Since 2022 we`ve being applying assistive technologies for speech development – alternative and augmentative communication (AAC) means – at the local and national level.
Since 2015 we`ve being
- supporting families in crisis at local community, providing counseling, training and webinars for parents and educators in responsible parenting, attachment, behavioral sciences, evidence-based approach;
- cooperating with local authorities to provide workshops for school teachers and social workers in mental health issues, for temporarily displaced people in resilience skills,
- counseling combatants at Kyiv regional military hospital,
- training foster parents in attachment, behavior correction etc;
- providing training in the 1st psychological aid and bullying prevention for social workers and volunteers throughout the county;
- cooperating with NGOs and the Ukrainian Association of Specialists of Overcoming Consequences of Traumatizing Events (Psychological Crisis Service) in support for temporarily displaced families;
- providing free webinars in pandemic for community mental health.
Online and offline events have involved more than 25 thousands beneficiaries since 2015. We` built effective partnerships and were supported by Charity organization “Vplyv”, Winner Ltd Ukraine, Huawei Ukraine, Biggggidea and numerous individual donors within a crowdfunding campaign.
Awards and partnership
In 2020 co-organised and delivered a project of social partnership with other NGOs, the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine and business, supported by Huawei Ukraine. The project became a finalist of the Partnership for Sustainability awards for an impact and beneficiaries coverage. As a result in 2021 our co-founders took part in creation of a free app for communication Digital Inclusion and designed a free course in AAC that had more that 20 000 views within 6 months. In 2022 implemented the AAC Community in Ukraine concept to unite users, communication partners, SLP professionals and AAC providers for practice exchange.
In 2021 held a successful campain at the Ukrainian crowdfunding platform Biggggidea and as a result 4 notebooks and 10 posters with pictograms are being made for people with autism and speech impairments. The project was supported by Vplyv Fund and International Renaissance Foundation. The posters are realesed for free to inform people with speech disabilities, relatives, professionals about a safe behavior regarding war actions or evacuation. This project helped to involve Ukrainian diaspora in USA and Chicago art community and broaden cooperation on the international level.
Alternative and augmentative communication
Since 2020 we advocate for assistive technologies (AT) for communication aimed at social integration of people with speech impairments. We create and share adapted content with pictograms, support local practices in AAC and run campaigns to promote AT.
Our core team acts as experts for the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine. In 2018 we worked out intervention standards in bullying cases in education within a national online course. In 2021 we took part in a project to create a free app for communication with symbols – Digital Inclusion. In 2021-2022 became co-authors of a manual in AAC for educators and worked out methodic standards for education institutions approved by the Ministry.
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