The master's thesis is based on the voluntary work of secondary school students with students with intellectual disabilities. In the theoretical part, we defined the concept of volunteer work and a volunteer. We presented forms of volunteering, its development in Slovenia and its contribution to the individual and society. We presented motives, problems, and obstacles that volunteers can face and the tasks of organizations that perform volunteer work. We described the field of volunteering with people with special needs and in greater detail, presented the volunteering of secondary school students with pupils with mental disabilities in the Center for Education, Rehabilitation and Training of Vipava. We also presented people with intellectual disabilities and cerebral palsy.
In the empirical part, we presented the results of the research, which we made among 26 students of both sexes who are involved in the Center for Rehabilitation, Education and Training of Vipava. 9 pupils visit a personalized education program with a lower educational standard, and 30 pupils visit special programs for upbringing and education. There were also 46 secondary school students from Škofijska gimnazija Vipava and Secondary School Veno Pilon Ajdovščina – the course of Pre-school education. Students were between 15 and 19 years old and had been involved in volunteering for a different amount of time. We made two survey questionnaires. The results were statistically processed and the data were presented in tables and descriptively.
We found that all respondents feel positive about volunteering and are happy about it. Volunteer students taught pupils how to play and participate in social and sporting games. Volunteer work is mostly performed because of the desire to help others, for personal growth, fulfillment of potentials, and the desire for some new knowledge. We also found statistically significant differences in motives among students of one and the second secondary school. Because of volunteering, students have become more sensitive to people with intellectual disabilities.
During their work, students also encounter some problems (most often it is the contact with students, the lack of time, understanding the students and the students’ refusal of the volunteer), but in most cases this is rare.
The research also showed that performing volunteer work with pupils with intellectual disabilities positively influences the choice of the student's desired course of study. 22.6% of the students who said that this experience had a positive influence on the choice of the desired study program, would like to be educated for working with people with special needs (speech therapy, special, and rehabilitation pedagogy), while others mentioned working in kindergarten, teaching in primary school, psychology, social work, physiotherapy, and work therapy or medicine.
On the basis of the obtained results, we made recommendations for the work of volunteers who perform volunteer work with pupils with intellectual disabilities and for pupils with intellectual disabilities involved in volunteer work. We also developed guidelines for the work of educational institutions for pupils with intellectual disabilities, who perform volunteer work.