People with intellectual disabilities (ID) represent one of the most marginalized and discriminated against groups. What is especially worrying is discrimination in education-people with intellectual disabilities receive fewer educational opportunities than any other group. Globally, most intellectually disabled do not attend school at all or if they do it is usually in a segregated facility or classroom with substandard resources. Also teachers generally feel unprepared to teach people with intellectual disabilities and lack the support needed from schools to be effective (LaBarbera.2015: Transforming Teaching in Inclusive Settings: An Educator Looks at VIM)
On the other hand the Convention on the rights of people with disabilities obliges countries to guarantee that people with disabilities have the same rights as everyone else: “Everyone has the right to quality and inclusive education, training and life-long learning in order to maintain and acquire skills that enable them to participate fully in society and manage successfully transitions in the labour market.” This is the first principle in the “Pillar of Social Rights” adopted by the European Commission in April 2017 to guide EU policies towards better working and living conditions for European citizens. (Tibor Navracsics, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport).
In the project we are addressing two main TARGET GROUPS:
– Teachers/facilitators of intellectually disabled,
– People with intellectual disabilities
Thus target group NEEDS are:
– need to increase educational opportunities for intellectually disabled to participate fully in society and manage successfully transitions in the labour market,
– need to enhance basic skills (literacy and digital skills) of people with intellectually disabilities, enable their participation in society and thus increase their social inclusion
– need to up skill facilitators/teachers who work with intellectually disabled to use digital storytelling method adapted to intellectually disabled
– need to improve EU education systems of intellectually disabled with innovative methodologies that will be more adapted to individual needs of people with ID.
PROJECT’S AIMS AND OBJECTIVES:
The MAIN AIM of the project is to develop an innovative learning approach – digital storytelling adapted to people with intellectual disabilities with an aim to deliver an innovative, empowering and fun tool for teachers/facilitators that work with intellectually disabled which will help them up-skill, understand and empower intellectually disabled persons.
– to up-skill facilitators/teachers who work with intellectually disabled to use digital storytelling method adapted to intellectually disabled and thus increase acquisition of different life skills of people with ID: literacy, digital skills, social skills, etc.
– To increase educational opportunities for intellectually disabled to participate fully in society and manage successfully transitions in the labour market
– To enhance basic skills (literacy and digital skills) of people with intellectual disabilities, enable their participation in society and thus increase their social inclusion
– To mainstream and sustain the innovative digital storytelling methodology adapted to the target group, which includes the practical implementation of the process with real life and includes Methodology implementation manual and simple guideline for people with ID for future use.
There is a need for transnational cooperation as all project partners’ possess interrelated expertise that will be integrated in the project implementation and the achievement of results in a cross-country context. The project’s main outcomes – digital storytelling for people with ID methodology and programme have the potential to improve the learning outcome and social inclusion of intellectually disabled across Europe not only in one country. By joint development and dissemination of the outputs we will reach broader audience and be more successful at introducing the teaching methods in mainstream education process. Introducing innovative measures for enhancing learning outcome of people with ID independently and without collaboration of different partners restrains the successful global competition and could lead to a duplicity of the performance and to development of potential conflict situations.
- Digital storytelling programme and implementation methodology adapted to people with intellectual disabilities: We are going to develop a new programme of digital storytelling adapted to people with ID. The programme will take into account characteristics and abilities of learners with intellectual disabilities to be able to take as much advantage from the method as possible. With the method learners will have the opportunity to tell their personal stories and at the same time improve their basic skills (literacy – by writing and reading their stories and ICT – by computer editing).
To develop the tailored Digital Storytelling programme for people with intellectual disabilities, we have a solid foundation in the Digital Storytelling method called the Berkeley model, which was developed by Dana Atchley and Joe Lambert in the early 90’s in Berkeley, California and used since all over the world. According to this model a digital story is a short, first person video-narrative created by combining recorded voice, still and moving images, and music or other sounds. It is a personal story and it works on multiple levels; the script, the voice-over, the imagery and sometimes also through music and/or sound-effects.
Digital Storytelling method has already been implemented in the E+ project “Digital Storytelling – Empowerment through cultural integration”, in which different target groups were included. The project showed us that the method had the greatest positive effects for people with intellectual disabilities – their empowerment, social integration, in ICT learning, their increased openness towards others, etc., and has the potential to be introduced to mainstream education of intellectually disabled. At the same time, during the course of the project, we came to the conclusion that the method needs to be strongly adapted – re-developed from its basis when working with intellectually disabled, as due to their characteristics they need a different approach.
- Implementation methodology of the programme and implementation manual which will be trained through facilitators’ training with innovative learning contents: During a 5-day training teachers/facilitators will learn how to use the methodology with intellectually disabled learners. Here they will learn important facilitation skills, such as helping to develop a narrative, working with the voice and images, and working with the technology, but they will also go through a more overarching information process, where they will be taken through the pedagogical and communicative skills of a good facilitator as well as the ethical questions that can be discussed around the method and especially this target group.
- Simple guideline/manual on how to use free editing programmes for people with ID: the guideline will be adapted to characteristics and abilities of intellectually disabled learners. The manual will be interactive with visuals and graphics.