Dreams Academy

11th December 2015

Tag list

Location / Country / Region

İstanbul, Turkey

Time frame

The project started in 2008 and it is still running.

Short description

The Dreams Academy is an arts academy, which envisions a brand new career and experience for young people with disabilities and social disadvantages and aims to integrate these people into social life. Art is one of the most significant means to develop and benefit from creative and productive individuals within the community.

Actors Involved

  • Students; Contribution has been made to the personal and social development of the students. Their self-confidence has increased.
  • Students’ families; Contribution has been made to the personal and social development of the students’ families. They have changed their view on their children. Their communication and relationships with their children have strengthened.
  • Trainers; Contribution has been made to the personal, social and professional development of the trainers.
  • Volunteers; Contribution has been made to the personal, social and professional development of the volunteers

Target audiences

For socially disadvantaged people and people with disabilities.

Relevant links, websites, etc.




Political, Economic and Social dimensions

AYDER and Dreams Academy ensure faster and easier integration of individuals with disabilities in social life. Equal benefits are created and presented without discrimination of gender, religion, language and income. An opportunity of active participation and production is created for individuals with disabilities. The Dreams Academy is a leading model project, which provides opportunities of equal participation with an “art for all” approach. An alternative leading perspective was created within the community by way of providing training opportunities in workshops of various art forms to disabled and socially disadvantaged people.



Turkey, a country that signed the UN Disability Agreement, needs to be producing urgent solutions for people with disabilities who constitute approximately 15 % of our population. There is a large gap between the current situation of socially disadvantaged people or people with disabilities and the recommendations of the UN Disability Agreement. Moreover, this gap has gradually been increasing not just for the disabled, but also for other layers of society.

With the financial support from the AYDER (Alternative Life Association), UNDP (United Nations Development Program), Ministry of Development and Turkey Vodafone Foundation; tens of thousands of social life solutions and opportunities have been actualized on 15 November, 2008 by “Diving is Freedom”, “Alternative Camp”and “Reha İstanbul” projects.

Intellectuals from different regions, the Municipality of Beşiktaş, Ataşehir and Kadıköy are the strategic – corporative partners collaborators of the academy.

Dreams Academy is composed of art studios such as Vocal –Rhythm – Dance – Photography – DJ – Instrument – Painting – Design. Different themed workshops like personality development and motivation can be built from time to time. Following the workshop trainings a special focus is given on getting jobs on the respective branches for the disabled and socially disadvantaged participants. The workshop trainers and corporative partners who are the best in their branches and have high level of sensibility and social responsibility are the cornerstones of the Dreams Academy in terms of reaching the project aims, programme’s quality and sustainability.

Between 2008 and 2011, the Dreams Academy, as a unique model project that provides equal participation opportunities with an “art for all” approach, fulfilled its main targets and commitments; new projects that became independent emerged from the project, and the Dreams Academy has evolved from a project to an institution. The Dreams Academy is a social responsibility project, where cultural and artistic training is provided free of charge for the disabled and socially disadvantaged young people and has turned into a permanent alternative academy of arts which prepares them to participate in life and provides basic training.



Raising awareness and recognising the problem. We think the fact that awareness of the problem has increased will contribute to the increase of the human and financial resources required for the project.

Key Success Factors

Raising public awareness, creating consciousness about disability issue and active participation among the community.

Contributions to LLL Policy

An opportunity of active participation and production is created for individuals with disabilities in LLL programmes.


Regarding the building of a shared definition of LLL in LLL-Hub

It is necessary to produce serious and permanent solutions and clear the way for the usage of the most basic constitutional and humanitarian legislative rights equally and freely in order to fill this gap. The DREAMS ACADEMY is a project produced in line with this approach.

Regarding the possibilities of having practices in LLL which evolve and become more innovative

Different workshops can be built in order to integrate socially disadvantaged and people with disabilities in society and the labour market.

Regarding the key actors, their roles and activities in LLL

The Dreams Academy is a pioneer and model project providing equal participation opportunities with an “art for everyone” approach.



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