What is Peer-Counseling?
A peer is someone who has the same characteristics or who is in the same situation as someone else. Peer-Counseling concerning disability therefore means the counseling of people with disabilities by people with disabilities.
The experience of Peer-Counselors to live with their own disabilities makes Peer-Counseling very special and distinguishes it from other kinds of counseling.
Peer Counseling gives priority to the right for Independent Living.
In Upper Austria Peer Counseling is a recognized social profession that is statutory in the Upper Austrian Social Profession Act.
There are educated Peer-Counselors with tremendous experience of life available in the Empowerment-Center of the Competence Network KI-I.
Areas of activity for Peer-Counselors
- Peer-Counselors give information about rights (for instance care allowance, equal opportunities) and about services established in the Upper Austrian Equality of Opportunities right.
- Peer-Counselors know much about aid in everyday life, (e.g. hints to furnish a flat free of barriers) and they would like to hand over their knowledge.
- Peer-Counselors support and accompany other people with disabilities on their way to more self-determination (for example when someone wants to move out of a residence for the disabled).
- Peer-Counselors help other people with disabilities to work on the realization of their goals.
- Peer-Counselors offer a confidential exchange of experiences to other people with disabilities and empower the self-confidence of other people with disabilities.
- Peer-Counselors advise other people with disabilities on how to overcome difficulties and to solve problems (for instance when there are conflicts in relationships, etc.)
- Peer-Counselors advise and accompany other people with disabilities to improve their quality of life (for instance when someone wants to extend their social contacts or wants to find out how to participate in useful leisure activities).
- Peer-Counselors accompany and support other people with disabilities when visiting public authorities and agencies (for instance to assistance conferences or to the employment office)
- Peer-Counselors advise and accompany other people with disabilities when they are discriminated because of their disability (for instance in cases of discrimination at the working place, or as support in arbitrations at the local authority of the social services ministery).
- Peer-Counselors connect to other helpful instances and social services (for instance psychotherapists, public authorities or social organizations) when it is needed.
When and where you can get Peer-Counseling?
You can get Peer-Counseling either directly at the Empowerment-Center or if needed at any other place in Upper Austria when you arrange an appointment.
What does Peer-Counseling cost?
Peer-Counseling is a service statutory in the Upper Austrian Social Profession Act and Peer-Counseling is financed by the local government of Upper Austria and therefore you can get Peer-Counseling free of charge when you arrange an appointment.