Spazio Aperto, based in Milan, offers public authorities and private companies an integrated service system to help them to integrate socially disadvantaged people into society.
The cooperative was founded in 1984 by a group of parents, operators and volunteers, who met through the National Association of Families of Children and Subnormal Adults (ANFFAS), and shared the daily problems of people in difficult situations, and in particular those with severe mental handicaps. Following the introduction of Law No. 381 of 8 November 1991, in 1992 it became a type B social co-operative, focusing on employing disadvantaged people to produce goods and services. Social service activities were spun off into a separate co-operative, Spazio Aperto Servizi.