After years of difficulties in the field of school assistance for students with disabilities, something is moving. The parliamentary procedure was initiated in the Education and Labor Committees of the Chamber, to approve the internalization of the staff of the Ministry of Education of the Autonomy and Communication Assistants. Thus, the very important figures for the inclusion of the Ministry of Education and no longer of the local authorities could be employed to avoid territorial differences.
FIRST (Italian Federation of Support and Protection Network)
The figure of the Assistant to Autonomy and Communication (Asacom) is provided by Law 104/1992, Article 13, Section 3. It has several tasks, all essential to fully accommodate and contain students with disabilities. It helps those who have difficulty using their hands, but also those who are paraplegic, quadriplegic or aphasic, who need continuous help even for actions that go beyond learning. Its functions are essential for facilitating the communication of students with difficulties in expressing themselves: hearing impaired, autism suffering and with brain injuries. In Sicily, Asacom is about 7,000 and works in all schools of order and degree. If the parliamentary process continues (hearings, amendments, discussion and vote) and there is political will, Asacom, like all teachers, will be part of the ministry. To date, autonomy and communication assistants do not work adequately and evenly throughout Sicilian territory. This happens because their allocation to the schools is the responsibility of the local authorities (municipalities, free consortia and metropolitan cities) that pay the cooperatives they hire.
A career path that encounters countless obstacles, often incomprehensible, given the realities of life, in which there are “territories in which we have zero hours of help or two or three hours a week or at least a modest number of hours. Or in which the service is provided. Activate not earlier than December or January “, comments the FIRST. A situation of perennial instability, particularly affecting students, helped for months or with an insufficient number of hours for their needs. The difficulties also fall on the assistants: highly specialized figures who live as precarious, with the consequence of an increasingly frequent abandonment of this basic profession to make others more economically stable and in line with the education achieved in the academic year becomes. The internalisation of the assistants in MIUR would guarantee students with disabilities, everywhere qualified and trained staff in a constant and continuous manner and a better working condition for the operators themselves.