SuperMAN project


Not only architectural barriers

The word accessibility often means the elimination of architectural barriers or actions aimed at meeting the needs of people with motor and sensory disorders.

But accessibility is also something more.

For this reason the project SuperMAN was launched. This project deals with the topic of accessibility from the perspective of those who are affected by mental disability or by Alzheimer’s, or more in general by comprehension, communication, reading and space-and-time orientation disorders.

What is SuperMAN?

SuperMAN stands for SUPERmarkets Meet Accessibility Needs. This project drew inspiration from an experience started in France in 2007 by Unapei (a national union of associations for parents and friends of people with mental disabilities) and it aims at promote and spread this experience also in Italy and in Germany.

In order to foster the concept of accessibility, within the framework of the SuperMAN project, the staff of some Italian and German supermarkets  took part in a formative training which allowed them to offer an adequate welcome, support and assistance to people with mental disabilities.

An external counsellor from the European network REVEAL has evaluated this experience using the pilot system Level 5 which certifies the acquired competences within the non-formal learning.

At the end of the project, the supermarkets which took part in it received a symbol of accessibility, as a proof of their commitment to a more accessible society.

SuperMAN was an experimental project in Italy and in Germany.

We hope that thanks to SuperMAN the model of accessibility will be adopted not only by other supermarkets but also by public bodies like post offices, banks, public administrations, accommodation facilities, means of transport etc. both at a national and at a European level.


1) spreading and promoting the tools and the results achieved by the French experience which saw the staff of some E.Leclerc supermarkets take part in a formative training which aimed to welcome, listen to and accompany people with mental disabilities;

2) transferring in Italy and in Germany the French experience, adapting it to the national contexts, and experimenting a new formative training for the staff of some Italian and German supermarkest, with the aim of making them completely accessible to people with mental disabilities;

3) certifying the competencies acquired by the staff of the supermarkets taking part in the project using the Level 5 system and awarding each supermarket with an ad hoc symbol of accessibility;

4) developing a wide consensus, both at a national and at a European level and involving other stakeholders like the retail chains, other public and social services, institutions as is already happening in France.

SuperMAN, promoted by the Social Co-operative Kara Bobowski, is one of the 22 projects out of the 131 presented to ISFOL Italian National Agency for the Leonardo da Vinci programme which received a funding within the initiative “Transfer of Innovation” (financial year 2011).

Leonardo da Vinci: an European programme for training and innovation

The sectoral programme Leonardo da Vinci is part of the broader Lifelong Learning Programme 2007 – 2013 and aims at:

• Supporting participants in training activities in the acquisition of knowledge, skills and qualifications to facilitate personal development and the integration in the labour market in all European countries

• Supporting improvements in the quality of education and vocational training;

• Enhancing education, vocational training and mobility abroad for individuals, employers and workers.

In particular, SuperMAN is to be included among the Multilateral Projects of Transfer of Innovation which finance the transfer to other countries of innovative experiences and good practices on topics regarding training.

For further information visit the website of the Leonardo da Vinci Programme

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SuperMAN project

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