Brief Presentation

 

The Uruguayan Psycho-Pedagogical Institute is a non-for-profit organization created in Montevideo, Uruguay, in 1980. In 1983 it became a Foundation, under Decree No. 2101 As 3611/83 of the Executive Power of the República Oriental del Uruguay.

The activities of the Foundation seek to promote health, prevent disease, provide assistance, education, extension, research and development, training and international cooperation, for disabled and socially vulnerable people, in particular children, teenagers and young adults.

Its objectives also include "promoting, protecting and ensuring the full enjoyment, in conditions of equality, of all the essential human rights and liberties of disabled persons, and the respect of human dignity."

The IPPU was formed to create an institutional space for comprehensive education and assistance to children and teenagers who, because of their disorder (Autism Spectrum Disorders), were not finding a space in the country's formal educational system. At that time, the end of the 1970's, there were almost no comprehensive institutional options to attend these cases. Because of this, the Foundation sought to promote and develop a productive and innovative form of assistance that could become a reference for others. Today it has grown and achieved significant progress.

To date, the Foundation has attended more than 8,000 general consultations, performed more than 3,000 psycho-pedagogical studies, and provided comprehensive assistance to 750 children and teenagers, along with their families, in the daytime attention service (for Autism Spectrum Disorders). More than 500 persons from Uruguay and abroad have received professional training, through various courses (on-site and off-site activities), and more than 200 young adults have completed the Professional Course of Food and Hotel Industry Services, provided since 1997 in cooperation with the Municipality of Montevideo and with the technical support from the Trade Union of Food Service Providers and Hotels of Uruguay (SUGHU).

In 2004 the Foundation created the website "Disability Uruguay" (www.discapacidaduruguay.org), the first portal specialized in disability issues in Uruguay (this project was declared of national interest), which has contributed to the democratization and the full access to information by the whole population, and in particular, by persons with disabilities, in all matters related to disabilities, services and inclusive development.

In 2006, the Foundation started to promote the implementation of strategies of Community-Based Rehabilitation (CBR) in the interior of the country, in coordination -in some cases- with the Ministry of Public Health and the Ministry of Social Development, in accordance with the parameters set forth by the WHO/ PAHO/ IHO/ ILO/ UNESCO, having a direct impact on whole communities through the implementation of strategies based on the model of "Inclusive Development".

In 2008, the United Nations (ECOSOC) granted the Foundation IPPU the status of "Non-Governmental Organization with Special Consultative Status with the United Nation's Economic and Social Council".

In 2013 (2010-2013), in response to a call from the European Union to present projects, the IPPU Foundation developed the project "Life Alternative", in five departments (provinces) of Uruguay, with the objective of providing job training to groups in socially vulnerable situations, based on the model that the Foundation had been implementing successfully since 1997. This project, among others, resulted in the formation of social cooperatives offering food services which are today successfully inserted in the open labor market.

The Foundation has supported, in various ways, social, educational, assistance and labor initiatives focused on the promotion of rights and opportunities for all, seeking the full participation of persons, in accordance to their specific characteristics and circumstances.

The Foundation produces material for general circulation, publications and technical literature; it provides courses; participates in various scientific events in Uruguay and abroad; develops applications and uses information and communication technologies for the benefit of users, professionals, families and communities; promotes the creation of networks for specific objectives; supports initiatives seeking the promotion of health (Healthy Municipalities) and healthy conduct and life styles; etc.

As a recognition of its trajectory, the Universidad de la República (State-owned university of Uruguay) considers the IPPU Foundation a center of Assistance, Teaching and Research. In addition, the Uruguayan Government allocates funds to keep the institution in operation and allows the Foundation to receive "Special Donations" from companies and contributors in accordance to the laws of the country.

In order to create new pathways allowing the sustainability of the various programs of IPPU and other institutions, the IPPU Foundation promoted the creation of a Foundation in the United States, called "Uruguayan Children's Foundation" (UCF), which has legal approval to receive tax deductible donations from the U.S. (501 c3). In this regard, part of the strategy of UCF is to achieve the support of companies that are in Uruguay and whose head offices are in the U.S., in order to receive donations this way.