V.I.S.O.: a project of sharing and inclusion

One of the main reasons why I created Move@bility is to raise awareness towards existing and effective examples of accessibility and inclusion. This is exactly the case of the V.I.S.O. project  (its acronym stands for Viaggiamo Insieme Superiamo Ostacoli, i.e. “Travel Together Overtaking Obstacles”), created in Padua in 2018 by the Centro Studi l’Uomo e l’Ambiente and funded by Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Padova e Rovigo. The main objective of the project is to promote the social inclusion of people with physical or cognitive disabilities, through travels  and sharing cultural and leisure experiences, at the moment in Padua area, but with the ambition to gradually expand all over Italy.

V.I.S.O. - Foto di gruppo durante un'uscita

A group photo during a tour

what does v.i.s.o. do in practice?

The project leaders of V.I.S.O. organize and propose guided tours, day trips and experiences to know new places and meet new people, do sport and have fun together in an accessible way for everyone. They prepare practical guides and design customized paths, based on the participants’ specific needs, to visit museums, monuments, buildings, churches, parks, squares and know arts, history, social events, customs and traditions. Both guides and paths report  architectonical barriers (for instance, the presence and height of stairs, to facilitate who moves using wheelchairs or other aids) and other peculiarities, such as intense noise or potentially crowded locations, so that people who are particularly sensitive to these cases (for instance, who has a sensory disability or suffers from a autism spectrum disorder) to avoid unpleasant surprises once on site or, if possible, to choose an alternative path.

All the available guided tours are announced well in advance both on the V.I.S.O. project’s website and on its social profiles. The offered activities  also include the opportunity to spend time in sports and leisure activities, but, first of all, to socialize. This is a particularly important trait for those who, due to their own condition or the situation they live in, risk to get isolated.

V.I.S.O. - Sport

A moment of sharing focused on sport

Do you like the V.I.S.O. project? You can even financially support it, donating on Rete Del Dono. Would you like to get more info about the project or about how to participate in the next guided tours? You can get in touch with its leaders through the contact details  specified on its website. Is there anything similar in your city? If so, please inform me through a mail and I’ll be happy to share and raise awareness towards them on Move@bility: after all, that’s exactly how I got to know the V.I.S.O. project! 🙂


Baskin: when inclusion goes to the hole

If you’ve been following Move@bility for a while (or you’ve gone over the articles of this site with a fine tooth comb ), you’ve probably realized one of the greatest passions of mine, basketball! At a time when I thought I only had to be happy with watching it on tv or from the bleachers of an arena, I discovered the existence of baskin, a variant of basketball that, since its name, brings the rules and the spirit of this sport and inclusion together. In fact, the baskin teams are made up by able-bodied and disabled people (with different tyoes and levels of disability) playing together regardless their gender and age, each one according to his own capabilities, to pursue the typical goal of basketball: score a basket more than their opponent.


Baskin was invented in 2003 in Cremona by the engineer Antonio Bodini and the gymnastics teacher Fausto Capellini in a school context, aiming to give all the students the chance to express at their own best and contribute to the success of the team. Putting together in the same team people different for age, condition and sex allows to create a real inclusion, going beyond the pietism typical of a certain way to deal with disability. Since then, this sport has spread at a national level, attracting a growing number of people of all ages.


The rules of baskin are the same as the traditional basketball, plus some variants that help ensuring everyone the a chance to play it.  For instance:

  • There are 4 baskets, the two usual ones plus two smaller baskets on both sides of the field
  • The players on the field for each team aren’t 5, but 6 and each of them has the chance to play in a role that’s compatible with his own physical capabilities and his familiarity with the game and, simultaneously, to man-mark and being man-marked by an opponent in the same role (and, hence, condition)
  • The players who need it can have a  tutor assigned, that is another member of the team who can help them during the game
Campo da baskin

A baskin field – Di Giamaico – Opera propria, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=72156422

But baskin isn’t good only for athletes with a disability. In fact, all the members of the team learn to integrate in a mixed group and to organize themselves consequently, promoting everyone’s abilities and looking at their respective diversities as enriching elements, not as weak points.

Aspasso Bike: the bicycle fitting for all needs

I admit it: among the experiences that I missed, due to the disability I’ve been living with for almost all my life, there’s also going around on a bicycle. My uncertain, to say the least, balance has always made this vehicle unapproachable, for me, and I only could look at the other children speeding in front of me on their bikes, with a little bit of envy. But nowadays, luckily, even who has a motoric disability has the opportunity to enjoy a ride on a bicycle, thanks to  Aspasso Bike, a “special mobilityproject  100%  “made in Italy”, that aims to enable everyone to move and have fun on a bike.

Il logo di Aspasso

aspasso: a bike for each and every need

Aspasso VeloplusAspasso offers to its users various models of bikes, carefully designed to fit for each and every need. For instance, Veloplus is the power-assisted model desigend for people on a wheelchair, who can enjoy the ride on a bike, together with a companion, safely and without having to move from the wheelchair, thanks to its tilting and self-blocking platform.

Aspassobike Opair


Opair, instead, is a “2 in 1” model, since the passenger seat can also be unhooked from the bike, to use it as a standard wheelchair. Power-assisted and highly customizable, it ensures the maximum comfort to all the users.



Aspasso - Fun2GoFor those with different motoric disabilities, there’s Fun2Go, a model that enables also the passenger to pedal, even though  the vehicle controls are exclusively placed on the companion’s handlebars… Alike it happens on cars used for driving lessons, hence.

All the models offered by Aspasso Bike can be customized graphically (for instance, adding their owner’s name or the logo of a company) and adapted and can be equipped with additional accessories, to satisfy even the most specific needs.

Are you interested in buying an Aspasso Bike model or you simply want to learn more about them? Get directly in touch with the project team, through their official website.


“Pagaiando abilmente”: kayak for everyone

We’ve often talked about the importance of sports to include people with disability. In the last years, there’s a growing number of initiatives whose main goal is, precisely, overtaking architectonical and cultural barriers through sports. For instance, “Pagaiando abilmente” (“Ably paddling”), the project by “Teocle” yacht club in Giardini Naxos (ME), that, throughout its 60 years of story, has contributed to make many young and very young people interested in rowing. Its commitment has been rewarded also with the “Bronze Cross for sport merits”.

"Pagaiando abilmente" - poster

“Pagaiando abilmente” rises from the idea to attract all the young people to this sport, without any difference, to give them all the opportunity to fully experience the relationship with the sea, through sport practice, with countless benefits in terms of psychophysical development and, therefore, to effectively contributing to the growth of the community they live in. This will be done not just through classes with instructors specifically trained to interact with kids with various disabilities, who will use kayaks and aids complying with their specific needs, but also through a process of refurbishment of the club location, on the sea of Giardini Naxos, to remove architectonical barriers and make it fully accessible.

But this has considerable costs. That’s why the “Pagaiando abilmente” project is among those that crowdfunded on the OSO – Ogni Sport Oltre platform,  promoted by Vodafone Foundation precisely to let projects aiming to widespread the sport culture and the social value of it be known and supported. You can contribute to fund the project donating at least 5 € through the page dedicated to “Pagaiando abilmente” on the OSO website. We still have a few weeks to help the project reach its goal to collect 6,000 € needed to adjust the ramp to access the beach, build a mechanical lifting system, delimit a pool in blue water and buy kayaks adapted to the disabled people needs. Let’s try it, ok?

Winter sports and accessibility: skiing “for all”!

Winter is almost here, a time that’s often insidious for people with motoric issues: icy temperatures, snow and pouring rain aren’t exactly “best friends” for who daily has to deal with physical issues. What are you saying? “If only we could distract and enjoy skiing or dedicate to winter sports!”. Well, I’ve good news for you: using some precaution and a little bit of training, even who has a motoric or sensory disability can speed on snow, thanks to various types of handiski, a skiing variant that, using specific techniques and various supports, is suitable for everyone needs, regardless of the specific disability: even paraplegic people can do it!

winter sports for disabled people

The number of plants paying attention to accessibility for handicapped people is increasing. They enable who has a disability to learn skiing, aiming also to accompany the best “equipped” to a preparation level allowing them to participate in the Winter Paralympic Games.  For instance, in the province of Reggio Emilia, the “Lupi di Civago” Ski Club organizes training courses with specifically trained instructors, addressed to people with motoric or sensory disability; in these years, it has also trained athletes who tested themselves in the Winter Paralympic Games.


In Folgaria, near Trento, thanks to the “Scie di passione” (“Wakes of passion”) project, even people with a disability can participate in dedicated ski lessons, with trained instructors (including a disabled one), who use also tools such as dual-ski, mono-ski, bass-board (a special snowboard, designed for people with motoric disability), to allow everyone enjoying winter sports (including cross-country skiing) and benefiting from accessible shelters. Furthermore, in Trentino, Valle d’Aosta, Piedmont and Lombardy, skiers with disability and their companions can benefit from high discounts on the skipass price.

skiing for disabled people

Then, why giving up a priori? Through some research and organizing betimes, everyone can have fun on the snow!

An (accessible) night at the Scala

December 7th is approaching and, in Milan, this means the city patron saint’s (St. Ambrose) festival and the season opening at the most famous theatre in the city: the Scala. This year, the opera selected for the premiere is “Tosca” by Giacomo Puccini, the heartbreaking story of the love between the singer Floria Tosca and Mario Cavaradossi (do you remember the famous aria “Vissi d’arte”?).

Would you like to attend one of the opera performances in the Scala’s evocative setting, but you’re worried about the accessibility of the theatre itself and of the seats you’d be assigned to? I’ve got good news for you: the theatre makes some seats in the parterre area (where accessibility is favoured by some ramps and which has also a bathroom equipped for disabled people) available for spectators with a motoric disability (whether they use a wheelchair or not) and their companions, in all the performances. In detail, there are:

  • 3 seats reserved to spectators using a wheelchair (and their companions)
  • 1 seat reserved to spectators with a severe disability or reduced motoring capacity (plus their companion)

The Scala Theatre

The ticket for the companion is free, while the one for the disabled person is sold at dedicated price, in accordance with the following list:

  • Opera: starting from € 80
  • Ballet: starting from € 50
  • Symphonic concert: starting from € 40
  • Piano recital: € 40
  • Singing recital: € 17
  • Christmas concert: € 60
  • December 7th: € 250

The Scala Theatre - inside

Are you wondering how to book your seat at the Scala? For December 7th, we’re tight on time, now, but you can still attend an encore performance of the opera or another of the performances included in this season’ programme. All you have to do, once you have found the one you’re interested in on the theatre website and made sure that the ticket sales have started, is to get in touch with the Scala Central Ticket Office calling 02/88796112 to book your seat and buy the ticket. Always remember to specify, while booking, if you use a wheelchair or need a seat: you’ll avoid problems during the performance!

Did I tempt you to watch “Tosca” at the Scala? Well: download its libretto to follow the performance as best as you can!

Theatre-therapy, to get to know and express yourself

Theatre has always been seen as a sort of “purifying ritual” (not for nothing, Aristoteles used to say that the theatre goal was, precisely, catharsis), a form of psychotherapy, meant as an expression of human soul, with all of its shades and contradictions. The theatre-therapy arises from this perspective: a path of cure and personal growth based on a mise-en-scene” of your own past through improvisation performance, combining acting (first, the famous Stanislavskij method) and psychology (from Winnicott to Freud and Jung).


Theatre-therapy can be used almost for everybody, from children to elderly people, including people with psychic disabilities. Of course, the therapy’ goals change based on its addressees: with children, the focus in mostly on an educational perspective, while, when it comes to disabled people, the goal is rehabilitation. But, generally, the main goal of this technique is harmonizing the relationship among body, voice and mind, in the relationship with other, yourself and your own creativity. How does it work, concretely?

Theatre-therapy children

Guided by a theatre-therapist, a specialized psychologist and actor who has attended a specific three-year course, people are helped to express their past, gradually overtaking any block to harmonize with themselves and with the others and socialize, using body, voice and mime. In case of neurotic or borderline people, the therapist’ task is to help them developing their adult self. Throughout the sessions of the theatre-therapy path, people get to know themselves and the others, face their own fears and weaknesses, become aware of their own limits, learning not to judge themselves nor the others, accepting themselves and the others just the way they are. That’s possible also thanks to improvisation, that enables to express in a freer way their own past, protected by “pretending” to be someone else.

theatre-therapy with disabled people

Theatre-therapy paths are wide spreading more and more, all around Italy. If you want to stay up-to-date about all the activities, please visit the FIT (Italian Theatre-Therapy Federation) website. Are you ready to go on stage?


Blindly dancing: you don’t need eyes to dance

Have you ever tried to blindfold your eyes and do, this way, what you usually do while seeing (e.g. eating, walking, etc.)? I experienced this sensation some years ago, for a few hours, and, after the initial discomfort and disorientation, I can say I lived a truly unique experience. But, at that time, I didn’t tried to dance “in the dark”. I remembered by chance that experience reading on a magazine the story of Elena Travaini and of the “blindly dancing”, the method she invented to nurture her strong passion for dance beyond the limits that, according to most people, she would be supposed to suffer due to the retina cancer she’s been living with since her birth and that has made her almost blind. Probably, many of us saw her performing, together with her companion, Anthony Carollo, in the last season of “Ballando con le stelle(“Dancing with the stars”, ndt), the show broadcasted by Rai1 and dedicated, precisely, to dance. Elena and Anthony, furthermore, will be starring in the short film “Blurred”, which will be presented at the next cinema festival in Berlin.

Blindly dancing

What is, exactly, the “blindly dancing”? The answer is easy: as the word itself suggests, is a dance in the dark, where dancers are blindfolded, so that they can focus, while dancing, on their own bodies, feelings and emotions. This way, visually impaired and sighted dancers can dance together and fully share the dancing experience. Through this method, in addition to discover themselves and connect with their deepest emotions and feelings, they also learn to rely on the one they’re dancing with and “listen” to him. That’s why the “blindly dancing” is often used also to raise awareness towards bullying, that, after all, arises precisely from the inability to empathize with the others, with who lives situations or conditions we don’t know.

Elena and Anthony have founded a non-profit organization, in order to let blindly dancing be known all over Italy and Europe, together with its deeper message: there are no insuperable borders, if you let your sensations and passions guide you, opening up to the others.

“Cinema senza barriere”: accessible movies for everyone

After the summer break, restarts “Cinema senza barriere” (“Cinema without barriers”), the film festival accessible to everyone organized by A.I.A.C.E. (Italian Association of Arthouse Cinema’ Friends) whose promotional activities of filmmaking in all its forms include, since a few years, the commitment to make the “seventh art” available to everyone, including those with a disability, even a sensory one.

The festival has reached its eleventh edition. Started in 2005 from the “Spazio Oberdan” in Milan, today also includes Rome (“Cinema dei Piccoli”), Bari (“Multicinema Galleria”), Brescia (“Cinema Nuovo Eden”) and Venice (Candiani Centre).

Cinema senza barriere

Once a month, thanks to the cooperation of ENS (National Authority for Deaf People) and UIC (Italian Union of Blind and Partially-sighted People), even deaf and blind or partially-sighted spectators will have the opportunity to enjoy the most praised movies: the first ones can read the integrated subtitles, while the latter receive infrared headphones at the entrance, so that they can listen to the audio comment, that adds to the movie dialogues clues about the characters spirit, the context, the landscapes, the shot techniques.

Cinema senza barriere” isn’t only aimed to enable blind and deaf people to watch a movie: its main goal is to use a typical place of aggregation, the cinema, to promote the full inclusion of people with a sensory disability in the society.

cinema popcorn

Why would those people just watch DVD movies at home, giving up the pleasure to spend an evening at the cinema with friends and family and- why not? – discuss the trendiest movies with their colleagues during a coffee break? It takes a few to help them overtake their own handicap, at the cinema: then, why not?

The list of the cinemas which adhere to “Cinema senza barriere” is available and constantly updated on its website. We hope their number keeps on increasing, such as the attention towards everyone’s needs (not just as regards culture).

Intanto, buona visione!

Accessible beaches: how to identify them?

Discussions about the need to furtherly increase the number of accessible beaches, in Italy and abroad, are always more frequent. They’d enable everyone, including elderly or disabled people and families, to enjoy a holiday at the sea without worries or architectonical barriers. But how to identify really accessible beaches and beach resorts? What are the features they need to have?

Let’s start saying that, so that a beach or beach resort is considered accessible in accordance with laws, it a boardwalk allowing to easily go from to the resort to the beach and vice versa isn’t enough. There are different disabilities and, therefore, the individual needs are different and all of them must be satisfied as best as we can.

The National Laboratory of Accessible Tourism has written down guidelines to help clarifying the fundamental requirements for accessible beaches:

  1. a parking area near the beach resort;
  2. an adequate and recognisable footpath, leading to the beach resort;
  3. the access to the beach reception and coffee bar;
  4. an adequate bathroom;
  5. an adequate shower;
  6. access to the beach equipped area (beach umbrellas, beach loungers, etc.) through an adequate boardwalk;
  7. an adequate changing room;
  8. a specific guidance and orientation system for blind and partially-sighted people.

accessible beaches

Maybe you’ve noticed that there’s a recurring adjective, in the list above: “adequate”, that is complying with the law no. 13 of January 9th 1989Regulations to promote the overtaking and removal of architectonical barriers in private buildings” and with the Circular no. 259 of January 23rd 1990 by the Merchant Marine Ministry, that applies it to the beach resorts as well; as regards accessibility to coffee bars and restaurants, the reference law is the 236/89 ministerial decree.

Should even just one of these essential requirements be lacking, the beach resort or the beach cannot be marked as accessible.

Furthermore, there are “optimal” requirements, meaning that they aren’t essential, but desirable, to ensure that the beach or the resort are fully accessible:

  1. a reserved parking area near the resort entrance;
  2. access to all the offered services (leisure area, catering, etc.)
  3. possibility to pick a seat on the beach that can be equipped and made accessible;
  4. presence of aids to go in and out the water;
  5. presence, in the leisure area, of games that can be safely used by disabled children as well.

In addition to the infrastructural requirements, it’s useful to point out also the typical services of accessible beaches: the availability of clear and up-to-date information and communications about the beach offer, t allow a choice that is adequate to all the customers’ needs; the constant maintenance of infrastructures to guarantee a seamless quality service; the hospitality the structure should provide people with special needs with, ensuring not just as much autonomy as possible, but also support provided by qualified and properly trained staff, to answer the demand of hosts with special needs.

Luckily, also in Italy there’s a growing number of accessible resorts under this perspective as well: we hope they won’t be a commendable exception, but the standard.