Occupational Activities Centre

The Occupational Activities Centre (i.e. CAO - Centro de Atividades Ocupacionais) is a social response whose principle goal is “the personal valorization and social integration of people with severe disability, empowering all possible development with regard to their capacities, without overstepping the demands of professional behavior or the standard framing of a judicial-legal nature” (Law Decree nº 18/89, 1989). Admissibility criteria for clients as a social response are:
  • A person with considerable deficiency 
  • Aged 18 or over (i.e. coinciding with the end of schooling age) 
  • Covered by the scope of protected employment rules 
  • Capacities that rule out, either temporarily or permanently, the practicing of gainful activity 
  • Specific care provisions (IE medical, psychological and social)
Activity in the Teaching Farm (Braga)
This social response has the aim of developing occupational, educational and leisure activities, as long as these things can be semi-productive and socially useful. Respecting the capacities and competences of each client, the activities offered in CAO have the following goals:
  • Stimulating and facilitating client involvement 
  • Facilitating individual’s integration and social participation 
  • Taking, whenever possible, clients to appropriate professional programs for integration
Pottery Activities
Clients are accompanied by an interdisciplinary team consisting of a specialist body covering Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech-Language Therapy, Psychology, Social Work, CAO Activities Monitor, CAO Auxiliaries and a Driver.

Beach sporting events are held annually during Summer
Quality of Life Model
The scope of activities on offer in CAO are all covered by the Quality of Life Model. Quality of Life is a complex and broad category that interrelates the local environment with the physical, independence level and psychological dimension as well as personal beliefs and social relations. Under the guidelines provided by the Social Security Institute (ISS, IP) for CAO’s social responses, the APCB structures its activities and goals with 8 essential dimensions (i.e.  emotional wellbeing, interpersonal relations, material wellbeing, personal development, physical health, self-determination, social inclusion and related rights). These are organized into three domains:
  • Personal development
  • Well-being
  • Social inclusion
Paiting Activities
Personal Development Plans
All clients working with CAO’s social response have a Personal Development Plan, which is outlined according to evaluation undertaken of the client’s personal needs and latent potential. A Personal Development Plan is a document that sorts out, works on and integrates all responses to the needs and developmental capacities identified with conjunction with the client. The preparation of a Personal Development Plan is organized by the case manager in collaboration and with input by all the concerned parties: interdisciplinary specialist teams, clients and/or appointees, and other collaborators the client deems pertinent (i.e. other organizations, healthcare professionals, etc.).

Cooking Activities
This interlinked effort and partnership constitutes added value for each Personal Development Plan and should always, circumstances permitting, be considered the best way of promoting and acting for social inclusion. The adoption of this strategy can encompass not only the implementation of fixed goals but also the uptake or transfer of resources. With this strategy, consistent with the aims outlined in the Personal Development Plan, the community’s social structures can be involved, fully mobilized and spurred on.

Working to improve on the quality of available activities on offer
With a view to continued improvement, the APCB runs an ongoing evaluation on the effectiveness and efficiency of the activities it has on offer to its clients, with a referral for measurement and evaluation of its performance, which certifies it under the following criteria:
  • Pertinence (with relevance to the activity’s stated goals) 
  • Adequacy (of the activity for its target category) 
  • Feasibility (in relation to the undertaking of the activity) 
  • Effectiveness (with appropriate utilization of resources to reach the given targets) 
  • Value (of results in relation to the stated goals).
Seed bomb making
Notwithstanding this internal assessment, the clients and/or the caretakers annually make an evaluation of the quality of the services provided by the APCB relative to their own expectations, as if completing a Satisfaction Questionnaire.

ImagesAPCB thanks all its clients, families and workers for kindly allowing their personal image usage for the illustration of the services provided by the organization.