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A very long article, so I have just put a straight translation here. A great space and very nice for Madeira.

A new infrastructure, of considerable dimensions, is currently being prepared to welcome the users of the Center for the Deficiency of San Roque, as well as the users of all the Occupational Activity Centers (CAOs) of Funchal. A space is waiting for them that will allow the conviviality of people of different age groups, in remarkable conditions of quality, easily findable in the place. Funchal News was conducted on a visit by Sílvia Vieira, Head of Inspection Division of the Regional Secretariat for Equipment and Infrastructures, and was very impressed by what this work, which has been for years in “water bath” due to lack of budget, promises to finally offer soon.

The building has wide access and circulation ramps.

“At this moment,” said Sílvia Vieira, the CAO users “were all dispersed,” all of them being included in this new Center, “with a view to social inclusion and greater interaction.” On the other hand, the management and the action of the teaching staff is also facilitated, being also possible, among the teachers, a greater conviviality and sharing of experiences and experiences.

Bruno Freitas, construction supervisor, engineer Pedro Maria, Mota Engil, and Sílvia Vieira, Regional Secretariat for Equipment and Infrastructures.


When a person approaches the new Social Inclusion Center of Madeira by car, he does not immediately realise the portentous dimension of it. The architecture was, in fact, developed in an integrated way by the company in charge of the project, Mota Engil, and the volumetry of the building does not collide, fitting in a relatively discreet way in the surrounding landscape, taking into account the local scale, the views and the natural slope of the land.

The building enjoys a large solar exposition, and includes large courtyards and terraces that can be used for a wide variety of uses, as well as outdoor areas that maximise this interconnection with the landscape of the amphitheatre that descends over the Bay of Funchal.

The rooms are to be decorated simply and tastefully; even the colours chosen for the floor differ by the functions


of space and are intended to be more welcoming, tranquillising or warm.

There are five floors, built on a construction area of ​​about nine thousand nine hundred square meters, with the interesting detail that four of these same floors have direct level access to the exterior, making travelling much easier.

Our guide on this visit highlights the different strands in which the new Center will function: it will assume the functions of a Home for Deficiency Deep, with a capacity for 49 beds. They are double and triple rooms furnished with simplicity and taste, as we could verify. Another aspect that is added to it is the one destined to the users of the CAOs. Altogether, between children and adults, there are about 172, supported by a faculty and auxiliary of about 120 people.

“In addition to the Home side, the Center presents the School side, in which a range of activities and therapies are developed.” Among them, the Snoezelen room, for sensory stimulation, and which will be the only one of its kind in Madeira. There the students “come into contact with textures”, in a darkened room with only a few points of light, and aimed precisely to awaken the senses, in an environment not threatening considerable relaxation. The idea was developed by Dutch therapists in the late 1970s when they realised that they were able to elicit positive responses in patients with mental deficits through a method that presented them in a controlled environment, colourful objects, sounds, aromas, lights and colours, obtaining sensations of pleasure.

Most of them are government officials, the future users of the Center for Social Inclusion of Madeira are adults of

the most different ages, but there are also young people. Essentially, ages range from 18 to 60, 70 years. “They are people who also have, many of them, reduced mobility, needing a lot of assistance; hence the spaces are prepared for this, all being broad and endowed with supports. ”

In the center there are also other quality offers, such as a therapeutic tank, a kind of pool, after all, that will allow people with difficulty to move around to do gymnastics and therapies in the water, which obviously will benefit them.

Dining area.

The rooms for the users of the CAOs offer a whole series of activities, from screen printing to painting, from weaving to carpentry or ceramics. All are served by a large dining hall, and there is a weekend dining room and breakfast area in the home area. There is no shortage of services such as a kitchen or a laundry room, as well as the cabinets for professionals and patient support.

“We thought this building was well incorporated into the landscape. It is a large building, but that nevertheless does not shock the architectural level, not only by the colours that were applied to it, but also by the volumetric. It had the size to be aggressive [visually], but it is not. It includes many green areas and a “barefoot path”, an area that is being created with the guidance of the Center for Deficiency Deep, so that its users also have a further offer of sensory stimuli.

The new Center is almost complete. “At the end of this month we will have the whole building ready”, assures us Sylvia Vieira. At the moment it is only to carry out the technical management of the same, providing it with beds, tables, chairs, distributing telephones, air conditioning, and other systems. The building “is all automated, in order to make life easier for those who will be working here. We do not want anyone here to have any more concerns. ” The whole complex was created to have the least possible heat losses, being provided with solar panels.

The construction of this Center began in October 2010. However, as already mentioned, the work was suspended

from February 2011, and resumed in April 2017, says Sílvia Vieira. The conclusion of the work, in constructive terms, occurred in November last year. Now that the final adjustments are taking place and the space is expected to be inaugurated soon, it is intended to make it as welcoming as possible so that the transfers of its users from the services they have occupied here to date, be as smooth as possible. By the very nature of their pathologies, these are people who cannot be exposed to great shocks, “having to come to a building that is already actually capable of receiving them. We are trying to be careful, “they assured us. “Social Security is here with us to play a very important role, because we are doing everything for everything so that when they come, everything is prepared, and feel as little difference as possible. Of course physically they will notice a big difference in the building, but they will have their teachers, who come with them, and have the least possible disturbances. ”

The Social Security is currently filling the building, and the Regional Secretariat of Equipment and Infrastructures to collaborate in the assembly, to verify if it is necessary to make this or that adjustment. “I think that by the end of February the building will be able to begin to receive users. There, the Social Security, according to what it understands, will begin to bring the users “, he adds.

When it was thought, this new building was originally called “Deep Deficiency Support Center”. However, in the poster of the work on the site, it can be read “Center for Support to Motor Failure”, but, with some reflection, it was understood that “Social Inclusion Center of Madeira is the name that best covers what will be all the valences “that it proposes,” all users who need to have some support, “says our interviewee.

Teachers, operational assistants, technical assistants, physiotherapists, operational therapists, and senior

technicians are currently supporting the São Roque Deficiency Center; in conversation with a person responsible for it, we were told that they would like to have nursing support, but they do not know yet if this is possible. “In principle, we will work with the means hitherto existing.” However, medical care is guaranteed, as support for the home, by the Night Medical Services. But this is not a Health Unit, of Continuing Care, not justifying, we are told, permanent medical support.

In floor 0 are located the offices of support, the administrative spaces, multipurpose room and a garage. In floor 1 are the therapeutic and physiotherapy areas, classrooms, meal areas, support services such as kitchen and laundry, and outside a playground and the aforementioned “barefoot path”. There will also be a craft shop, where it is intended to sell the objects that the users of the CAOs are carrying out throughout the year.

The complex is equipped with solar panels, for greater energy efficiency.

However, on the second floor are the complementary training spaces and an apartment for training of daily autonomy, where the users are accustomed to perform all the tasks necessary for the house, with equipment such as washing machines and dishes, etc. . It is in this floor that the textile room, the pottery / painting room, storage rooms, a pedagogical kitchen, a kennel – because the contact with animals is very therapeutic for this type of handicapped – and also a pedagogic vegetable garden, since all of them are very fond of working on the land, dealing with plants and vegetables, and gardening. On the second floor there are also the classrooms.

Multipurpose room for socialising and shows.

Already on floors 3 and 4 is the home, subdivided into double and triple rooms, all endowed with private sanitary facilities? On the 3rd floor there is also a small kitchen and a dining room for preparing light meals. All floors actually enjoy a privileged view, and at the same time preserve the privacy of those who use them.

Access to school activity areas is ensured by external ramps. The use of the lift is therefore optional and not an obligation. The whole set is free of architectural barriers, being guaranteed the access to fire engine, ambulance or other vehicles in all the floors except the fourth floor

The building includes a cafeteria that can still be given to the concession, or that may be the Social Security itself to explore, and is in the process of finishing. It can serve visitors and family members who come there, as users and teachers. A multipurpose and library space is also planned.

Taken From Funchal News