Face Equality: innovative training in the health, social and  volunteering sectors that will empower people with disfigurements to overcome social and psychological challenges in everyday life

As many as one in five people live with a medical condition that can result in disfigurement. In contemporary European society, the appearance ideals that are omnipresent in social and broadcast media are decreasing diversity and stigmatising the many people whose looks depart from perceived ‘norms’. A large body of research now charts the psychological and social challenges that hamper the everyday lives of children, young people and adults with these disfiguring conditions. The urgent need to improve the quality of life of those affected was identified in COST Action CA16234 when the consortium partners, including Neapolis University, discussed this problem and conducted a needs analysis. The FACE EQUALITY TRAINING project will develop, test, refine and disseminate the following outputs:

  1. A one-day evidence-based training programme for HCPs/hospital liaison workers & NGOs on:
    1. the current societal context and pressures for people/families affected by visible differences (including the negative impacts of the ‘beauty myths’; lack of understanding in the general public about the causes/consequences/challenges of visible difference)
    2. current challenges for people with craniofacial conditions and their families
    3. effective interventions (skills for the individual; community-based interventions; societal level initiatives)
    4. social activism (effective public education campaigns, e.g.promoting Face Equality; digital activism; collaborative activism
    5. skilling up key workers in the community to offer effective support;
  2. A template and framework, with tools (evidence-based resources), to support half or full-day workshops run by HCPs, NGOs for key workers in the community (teachers, vocational trainers, university people, youth workers, social workers, etc and policy makers (local/national government, social workers charity workers etc), together with running direct workshops for families and patients. An extensive pedagogical report and guide will be included. This will equip those who have been trained by the project to train others.