Description of the Open up project
The Erasmus+ Open up project (2020-2022) aims at engaging formal and non-formal education professionals in the inclusion of children and young people with sensory disorders. It is a social innovation project aiming at developing the capacities of formal (e.g. school teachers) and non-formal education professionals (e.g. youth workers) to improve the reception and educational support of young people with visual or hearing impairments in the mainstream schools and youth organisations.
Open up brings together European partners with complementary skills: actors from the medico-social sector specialised in the support of people with disabilities and in particular those with sensory impairments, but also a Vocational Education and Training organisation and a web design agency to co-create, test and evaluate the outputs listed below.
The project Outputs
- A guide for professionals of the formal and non-formal education
The first step of this project is to co-develop a guide detailing the profile of a ‘resource person for sensory disorders’, that is: a professional who has acquired a set of knowledge and attitudes that he or she would be able to apply and share with colleagues, to ensure quality inclusive education for young people with special educational needs (SEN). This new role differs from specialised teacher who teaches and assists students with physical and/or mental disability because, a resource person, as defined by the Open up partners, can support specifically youngsters with sensory disorders at school or in a youth centre. Thus, this is a hybrid profile accessible for teacher and youth workers having an interest to contribute at the improvement of equal access to education for children and teenagers with sensory disorders.
This accessibility guide will take the form of a tool box divided in two sections: one about visuals impairments, the other one about hearing impairments. It will detail a set of methods which professionals can use to adapt their environment and communication to young people with different kind of visual or hearing impairment.
- A training programme for future “resource person in sensory disorders”
Together with the definition of the new role ‘resource person’ defined in guide, the project partners propose to co-create a new training programme targeting formal and non-formal education professionals who would like to become a resource person. This will consist of a 3-days face-to-face training programme designed to acquire knowledge and attitudes needed to contribute to improve the quality of inclusive education at school or at a youth centre.
If the pandemic allows us, this new training programme will be tested in real-life conditions during the second semester 2021. This will be the first component of the Open up training device.
- An e-learning resource platform
The year 2020 have seen the acceleration of e-learning and telework. The project partners considered this trend by completing their new training programme with a second component that consists of an e-learning platform, giving to professionals of education a free access to digital educational resources, including: e-learning modules, the digital version of the guide, the latest news about inclusive education for people with sensory disorders, and links to other digital resources.
- A joint Statement aiming at improving the quality of inclusive education
The project partners will take advantage of these two years of exchange of good practice and knowledge at the transnational level to co-write a document aiming at raising awareness of decision makers and other educational stakeholders, representatives of youth organizations, and formulate recommendations to them to improve the quality of inclusive education in Europe.
The expected results
240 formal and non-formal education professionals, policy makers and other educational stakeholders coming from 4 EU member States (France, Spain, Croatia and Cyprus) will directly participate in the co-development, testing and evaluation of the four outputs mentioned above. These outputs will be translated in five languages (English, French, Spanish, Croatian and Greek) and available on the Open up website. By 2022, 16 professionals in the formal and non-formal education coming from these countries will be trained to act as a ‘resource person for sensory disorders’.
On the longer term, Open up represents the opportunity for European formal and non-formal education professionals to access to a toolbox allowing them to develop their skills, to keep themselves informed and to contribute to improve the quality inclusive education for the young people with sensory disorders.
The Project partners
La Vie Active (France, Lead Partner) is an important actor of inclusive education in region Hauts-de-France. LVA daily supports 2661 children and teenagers with physical, mental disabilities and/or sensory disorders and their families (2018). Our pilot site for the Open up project is the Service d’Education Spéciale et de Soins à Domicile (SESSAD) Jean Macé at Liévin.
Verdiblanca (Spain) is a non-profit organisation/ private association gathering several health and social care establishments mainly based in Andalusia. It aims at supporting and promoting social and professional integration of people with disabilities (physical, mental disabilities and sensory disorders).
Ouvrir Les Yeux (France) is an association created in 2000 that aims at fighting against hereditary optical neuropathies (HON). OLY is a non-profit organisation based in the Pas-de-Calais, recognised “assistance and charity” working at national level with establishments in different regions of France. OLY also cooperates with similar associations in other countries supporting people with visual impairments.
Hrvatski savez gluhih i nagluhih (Croatia), in English, The Croatian association of the deaf and hard of hearing was created in 1921. HSGN supports et leads activities for more than 80 000 people with hearing impairments in Croatia. HSGN supports rehabilitation programmes and protection of people with hearing impairments, especially to support their communication, access to education and work integration. HSGN takes an active take part in the development of public policies and initiatives in favour of people with hearing impairments.
Innovation Training Center (Spain) is a consulting company created in 2015 based in Andalusia and the Balearic Islands. ITC has experience in carrying out research and development projects in Vocational Education and Training (VET), technology and culture. ITC has a team of trainers specialised in the development and implementation of innovative training programmes.
INNOVADE (Cyprus) is a company specialised in the development of social innovation projects at the international level. INNOVADE has a team able to develop educational web platform adapted to different target groups, for e.g.: education, training programmes, innovation and social entrepreneurship.
Main features of the Open up project:
Duration of the project: 24 months (from 01/10/2020 to 30/09/2022)
Overall budget forecast (6 project partners): 257 356,25 €
Overall budget forecast of La Vie Active: 58 340,00 €
A project co-funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union.