Monday, 11 December 2017


Study by Adrienn Orevecz
Article In English

Adrienn at recent Pető Day, 
frequent speaker

Summary and future examination on the topic The aim of this study was to collect more information about Conductive Education practised abroad. The conductors were in the focus especially their working conditions and the other professionals they are working with. The results were very positive. It seems as an employee they are satisfied with their working environment. It is even more essential in such helping job to be happy because they can use their maximum potential and can be more productive. The more varied resources (personal and technical) they can use for development the better the results will be. Assistive devices can increase their personal efficiency very much. Not only they can use the most up-to date developmental equipment, but also have a better insight and closer relationship with other health professionals. Future research will address young adults with CP. who received Conductive Education for a longer period. The purpose will be to find out how and in which stages of life Conductive Education could help them.

...Last but not least I would like to express my gratitude to three wonderful ladies: Rony Schenker, Tünde Rozsahegyi and Beate Hoess-Zenker. Finally, of course all the participants who took part in the survey.

(p. 249)


Oravecz, A. (2017) International extension of Conductive Education, Tavaszi Szél / Spring Wind III, Budapest, Doktoranduszok Országos Szövetsége, pp. 240-250

Sunday, 10 December 2017


How about Azerbaijan?

Signing ceremony
This last week Azerbaijan and Hungary have signed formal agreements in the fields of education and passenger and freight traffic.

The PAK (András Pető Faculty of Semmelweis University) already has deals with Russia and Kazakhstan.

Hungary is keen to look to Russia's Eurasian bloc, the 'other EU', as a counterweight to the European Union.
attentionin the West. I picked up this report only from an English-language Azerbaijanian newspaper. Read it here:

Just speculation of course...

A couple of other items, background, around this:


Bad karma, man

There are long periods in which Hungary is of little general interest to Western media. Not so now. Suddenly there seems a rush of bad-news stories.


This last week's have included:

  • Is it because there is presently a lot happening over there in Central Europe?
  • Or are things much the same there as ever but suddenly 'sexy' to the Western media?
  • Is Hungary perhaps of greater interest now because its row with the EU is beginning to boil over
  • Have the liberal media just had enough of Hungarian the right-wing attacks?
  • Or is this the product of yet another Machiavellian plot by the Great Viktator?
  • Any, all or none of these?
Does this matter a jot to the world of CE?

Not a lot, this day or the next, in this or that paticular location around the world. People have their own personal and professional lives to deal with, the equally strange politics of their own countries, their own joys and hopes, their own woes and disappointments. Nobody needs be concerned with the affairs in a far away country, concerning people of whom we know nothing.

Certainly, no one wants to be publicly associated with running bad-news stories.

So why bother about that one little corner of Ruritania, that 21st-century Slaka?

Conductive World has always contended that the events in Hungary have a potentially disproportionate effect across the whole world or Conductive Education, and that those whose lives and institutions make up this world might like the opportunity to know something of what is going on there. Not that they can do much or anything about it, but at least they can wonder about what UK accountants call 'sensitivities', things that might go wrong in even the best-laid plans.

A toxic mix

There is no single theme to such stories. The following do tend to pop up:
  • the militantly illiberal Fidesz government
  • right-wing revanchism in general
  • post-Trianon revanchism in particular
  • anti-Semitism
  • Hungary's upcoming General Election
  • higher education
  • employment and economics
  • emigration (emigration and immigration).
Such factors can be seen increasingly in stories coming out of Hungary over the last few years. They do seem particularly well represented in the Western media at the moment.

Any of them can have bearing upon the continuing development of Conductive Education, and not just in Hungary. Look out for them. What a toxic mix.

At its very least, bad karma, man.

Saturday, 9 December 2017


As Ralph recounted, three years ago

On his blog, 
7 December 2017

Anger management

I can understand a lot. I know that sometimes you're just having a bad day or you're simply not in the mood. I can see how stopping your bus to load up a wheelchair can be a pain. It takes time and you're on a schedule. And if you have one of the models with the lift in the back – forget it – the fun is just beginning. From struggling to line yourself up properly and close enough to the pavement, and remembering to power it up properly at the front and at the back to make it work. Don't forget the key to open up the controls.

I thought I've seen it all. Drivers who rolled their eyes at me or told the person they were on the phone with that they need to 'Load a goddamn wheelchair' as they saw me roll up, or even never uttered a word while they were loading, unloading, strapping and unstrapping.

I've seen unruly passengers. Some loud, others appearing unstable or threatening. I can understand a lot, but for the life of me I will never understand what happened Saturday night.

I was waiting at the regular spot for my night bus after a movie showing on campus. I've never ridden with this driver before, although I did recognize him. A few times he either never stopped for me or simply ignored my presence and drove off when other people got off. I should have known this may be not the best idea, just by looking at his angry facial expression as he was coming up and how aggressively he was manoeuvering to get close to the sidewalk.

As he opened the door he started cursing, although not at me, just quietly to himself. And shook his head. He made sure it was clearly visible that he was not happy that he had to stop for me and load me up. Mumbling, making faces, As if I was some kind of punishment, or had flagged him out of spite. And with every minute, as he had to turn things on, get the key, get the controls for the lift opened, it was only getting worse. And I only wanted to get home. Preferably quickly and in one piece, he just happened to be there.

I've never seen a driver so enraged from the moment he saw me until he dropped me off. He seemed furious. And as he was expecting trouble loading me up with the backloading lift, which is complicated to power and sometimes gets stuck at that stage, he got me in without a problem.

In the passing he explained that he hates this bus and they always give it to him – but then all the other drivers are in the same boat. Just ask the driver that made me wait right before him as he couldn't power his. But this man was just very angry. Angry and loud. While it seemed that he was mad at his equipment, as he waving his arms I wasn't sure that this emotional behaviour wouldn't get out of hand. He's cursing and yelling and I don't feel safe. I'm strapped down, couldn't get off the bus or wait this one out if I wanted to.

As he had a hard time activating the lift at my stop, more emotional outburst followed. As it turned out it was his mistake because he forgot to do something, but at that point he started to slap the box that housed the lift controls. It wasn't at attempt to make it work. He felt blinded by range and wanted to blow off steam or punish the bus for not listening to him. It reminded me of how one of my friends, when he was helping to carry me up the stairs, lost his grip and felt so frustrated with himself that he punched a tree.

I wanted just to sit there and let the driver do his thing. I wasn't sure that at some point he wasn't going to turn around and slap me. He was at a point where I wasn't sure if he'd be able to stop himself before he took one step too far. Because everything up to this point only made it louder and physical. I was not only immobilized, but the only rider on the bus. I've never seen a driver so angry, walking back and forth, pacing, wiring himself up and in a way, I'm his prisoner. He doesn't know how to drop me off, so filled with anger decides to drive me to the end of his run, when some other driver shows him how to operate the lift. He then drops me off on his way back.

A lot of things happened to me on RTS buses but I've never felt this unsafe before. I felt that I was locked in a tiny box with an unpredictable man that was flying off the handle. It was beyond the point of trying to talk to him or asking him something. He was not someone at that point you can reason with. Had he come at me, I'd have no way to stop him. And that's a feeling I wouldn't wish on anybody.

Recent transport bulletin from Ralph

Taxi service can be a bind too:

Friday, 8 December 2017


EU citizens' rights in the UK
And Brits' rights in the EU (not so good?)

Border control signs at heathrow airport
Three million EU citizens presently live in the UK.
A million Brits live in the EU. 
This proposed deal is of vital importance to those directly involved and their families, to  those whose organisations depend upon their work, and to anyone who benefits from services dependent upon them.

As far as the Conductive Education in the UK is concerned this involves much of the present situation and had profound implications for the future.

Basic principles for EU Citizens living in the UK
  • Both EU citizens and UK nationals will be able 'to live, work or study as they currently do under the same conditions as under Union law
  • EU and UK citizens have free movement of rights until the day that the UK withdraws from the EU, 29 March 2019
  • This, in effect, is the cut-off date for EU citizens moving to the UK
  • Anyone who arrives before this date will have the right to stay
  • Those who are yet to be granted permanent residency in the UK will have their rights protected, so they can still acquire it after withdrawal
  • The latest deal includes reunification rights for relatives who do not live in the UK, to join them in the future
  • These rights extend to future spouses or partners of EU citizens
  • EU citizens living in the UK will have their rights enshrined in UK law and enforced by British courts
  • The European Court of Justice will have jurisdiction over EU citizens' rights for eight years after the withdrawal day
  • EU citizens in the UK will have equal access to social security, health care, education and employment
  • But they and UK citizens in the EU would lose their rights to residency if they are out of the country for five or more years
  • These residency rights in the UK will be under a new procedure, referred to as 'settled status'.
And more (see below)...

Brits living in the EU?
  • UK citizens who move elsewhere in the EU before Brexit day will have the right to stay in that country.
  • After the UK withdraws, the freedom of movement principles will not be the same for UK citizens living in the EU as for EU citizens living in Britain
  • The only way to keep this freedom of movement would be to apply for a passport in the European country where they reside
  • Issues that affect UK citizens in EU member states, like whether their rights are protected if they move to another member state after the withdrawal date or their ability to work cross-border in the EU, have been deferred to the second round of negotiation.
Full text of the EU-UK statement
This needs to be studied closely by everyone potentially affected:

Presumably versions are available in all EU languages

Thursday, 7 December 2017


Continuing development in Rosenheim

The Integrated School in Rosenheim, Bavaria is to expand from 72 to 90 pupils.

Bavarian TV is helping finance further development of the facilities through Sternstudenden, its annual Advent Appeal –

In the school year 2013/2014, the Petö und Inklusion organisation opened the private inclusive elementary school Oberaudorf-Inntal, which breaks new ground in the care of disabled and non-disabled schoolchildren. Provided here are individualized conductive and movement upbringing, and daily inclusive sport provided The concept being unique in Germany. The demand for places is correspondingly high. These should now be increased from 72 to 90, in addition, the primary school pupils can later attend the associated middle school. Sternstunden promotes the financing of barrier-free new rooms and measures further to improve school quality...

Watch the video

Ruth Dürr and her son Felix, and Rita Mechtl, do the honours in this there-minute broadcast video, and the dog's good too. The video on the above page is in German but, even if you do not speak the language, integrated schooling and conductive upbringing, along with something of their process and their product, come across loud and clear:

Another young conductive adult well on the way...

Two of the previous item here on Rosenheim

Wednesday, 6 December 2017


On what model?
Here's just one

There is no single 'right' way to establish and sustain a CEC (Conductive Education Centre). Different ways work in different places and in different eras, for different purposes and for different people. Thinking local but thinking big. Such factors involved may be blended in different ways to create what is right in a given context, and size may often matter too – the 'Goldilocks principle'.

One 'classic model' that has stood the test of time seems to be the small, locally based non-profit, with local goals in a relatively prosperous community, having close links with established local figures and institutions (which given time and stability then becomes a local institution itself.

Where such a combination gels, then it seems to work well in different national contexts.

CE needs more than just opinion

Or so I would guess... Millions and millions of pounds, dollars, euros etc. have been spent (some of them wasted) over the 30-odd years of serious attempts to spread Conductive Education around the world..

As far as I know there has been no serious attempt to examine which models 'work' and which do not.

So I do not know.. I do suspect, however, that there is tested and theorised knowledge enough from other sectors to think that this is something that could be taught, to would-be founders, to those who run existing conductive services, to their staffs (including conductors and fundraisers) and perhaps to others to. Why continually reinvent the wheel?

An example

I have been reminded this morning of this hardly unfamiliar problem by a news report in a local newspaper in the English East Midlands, on a fund-raising event by the charity Steps:

I was reminded that I had mentioned Steps in 2009:

Checking on Steps' current website (and granting that all such websites show the best possible face) I felt that as in 2009, I felt was looking at something rather exemplary. Something that others might learn from:

'Or so I would guess...' Other might agree, others disagree. My view as stated above, with careful qualification, is that Steps is a 'classic' – which might tell as much about my views as it does about Steps. My view is also, however, that CE worldwide would be better served by generation and dissemination of knowledge. Then that goes for all aspects of the field.

Meanwhile, keep on guessing...

Tuesday, 5 December 2017


Meets in Orlando, Florida in March

The parallels (and differences) between CE and the late Reuven Feuerstein's mediated learning have been well appreciated in Conductive World, as they were by Reuven himself.

Similarities and differences have been apparent at the organisational level too, in how these two traditions have tried to treasure their respective heritages and, at the same time, internationalise and embrace something of the modern world.

It is fair, however, to summarise the 21st-century history of the two movements by saying that, granting the occasional individual interest, they have managed most successfully to stay apart.

NAFA, the North American Feuerstein Alliance, has announced its forthcoming event, to be held in March, in Orlando, Florida:

Bridges to Better Thinking

Feuerstein Method Training Workshops

Winter Garden, Florida
17 –20 March 2018

Opportunity there?

Reuven Feuerstein on Conductive Education

Sutton, A. (2012) András Pető's heritage, from the perspective of cognitive psychology, Conductive World, 20 November

North American Feuerstein Alliance

Monday, 4 December 2017


130-year anniversary


Viktor Orbán, the Great Viktator, has been in Germany seeking to drum up political support among politicians in the provinces (Länder):

Here's a venerable product of German-Hungarian collaboration that has lasted rather longer that most, and may well outsee Mr Orbán's wildest aspirations:


Uber WAV, Lyft, Curb?
Not in Las Vegas 

'Easier for me to order food
than get a ride'
Ralph Strzałkowski has been trying to book a cab on line – 

The retro aspect of it all would have been funny if the situation wasn't as tragic. None of the things which make Uber so attractive were available to me: price, convenience, ability to figure out arrival time, tracking your ride, paying and tipping via app. Instead I was teleported back to the 80s.

...the only option... was calling the dispatcher. Not booking via app, not tweeting, calling... All this technology, why can't we use it to help people with disabilities. Why can't it make life easier?

And it reminds me why I started the Florida Disability Access and Awareness Foundation to do precisely that- promote accessibility and inclusion using media, software and technology. Perhaps one day I can sit down with the good folks from Uber, Lyft and Curb to see how we can leverage all that to make people with disabilities more mobile. Until then, it will be easier for me to order food than get a ride.

Nice to see this recent blog posting from him. Read what he says in full:

Strzałkowski, R. (2017) UBER disappointment, 28 November

Sunday, 3 December 2017


Captions are essential, not a luxury

Demonstration teaching
Professor Pető and I
This rather fuzzy picture has just been published on the Facebook page of the European Conductive Association. It comes from a photo report of last week's annual Pető Day event held at the Semmelweis Medical University's PAK:

This unattributed image may be part of a slide presentation. If so, Whose?

If it were then presumably the presenter told something about it. Out of context and wthout such commentary, slide presentations tend to be rarely of value. The viewer is left with some rather basic questions:
  • What is going on here?
  • Who is involved?
  • When and where did this happen?
  • And what is interesting about it?
And specifically in this case, who was 'I'?

This image looks like a potentially interesting contribution to the limited corpus of available public archive of pictorial images of András Pető. But without answers to questions such as the above, much of its potential value may be lost. Worse – the image may prove actively misleading...

The same questions of course apply to the rest of the slides in this sequence, and to many such others.

Friday, 1 December 2017


TV report on CEC
Growing public prominence in France

Delphine Wespiser
Celebrity visitor
French regional TV station Alsace 20 reports – 

Delphine Wespiser, vous présente l’association HELLO HISSEZ-VOUS qui a ouvert le 1er Centre d’Education Conductive dans le Grand Est pour les enfants porteurs d'IMC et leur parents. 

Conductor Virág Czibók does the honours

See the video

Five minutes, in French:


(2017) Lumière sur l’association Hello Hissez-Vous! Alsace 20, 22 Novembre

More on Hello Hissez-vous

Also in France...?
Image may contain: 1 person, meme and text
First Lady

Another conductor recently on local TV news

Reported here only yesterday: Rebeka Rácz for Buddy Bear: