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EPALE

Electronic Platform for Adult Learning in Europe

 
 

Discussion

EPALE Discussion: How can we improve adult learning for people with disabilities?

08/06/2017
by EPALE Moderator

/epale/en/file/learners-disabilitiesLearners with Disabilities

Learners with Disabilities

As part of EPALE’s June focus on persons with disabilities, we would like to hear your views on how we can improve adult learning for people with disabilities.

The discussion is open to everyone and will take place on this page on 8 June 2017 at 2:00pm CEST. It will be moderated by EPALE’s Thematic Coordinator for Learner Support, Gina Ebner.

Don’t miss the opportunity to share with the EPALE community your experience, views and questions on the topic. We would love to hear your opinions on:

  • strategies for adult education for people with disabilities in your country
  • what a good strategy should contain
  • good practice examples from your country or organisation.

** This discussion has now been closed.

 

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  • MEHMET KAYA's picture

    % 90 Srebral Palcy Raporu Olan Engelli kızı olan ve Halk Eğitimde çalışan biriyim.Müdür Yardımcısıyım.Yetişkin Eğitimi Halk Eğitimin Hedef kitlesidir.Engellilere yönelik Eğitim de Ayrıcalık kurs açılırken sayı şartı aranmamasıdır.Normal de 12 kursiyere ihtiyaç varken engellilerde bu şart yoktur.Yaygın Eğitimde Engellilere yönelik daha çok hangi kursları açıyorsunuz?Engelli Eğitim ortamları hakkında merak ediyorum.

     

  • Gina Ebner's picture

    Hi everyone,

    you can find a summary of our debate at https://ec.europa.eu/epale/en/blog/epale-discussion-summary-how-improve-...

    Please feel free to add more comments!

    Thank you, Gina

  • Mark Richardson's picture

    I've read through the many comments (and apologies for joining this a little late) and there's some really interesting discussion. As I noted in my blog, I am very much interested in widening participation (WP) and mental health. Mainly because WP in the UK is a higher education led approach which is designed, it is claimed, to target the 'hard to reach' (a phrase I object to) and to encourage them to enter into higher level learning which is empowering, transformational and premised on a social justice model. Yet, rare is it we'll see target groups consisting of individuals who have experience of mental distress - or otherwise, the mentally ill. I would love to know what others think.

    Personally, I think there are many reasons for this including:

    - stigma (both sides)

    - lack of will (providers)

    - lack of understanding (both provider and recipient)

    - a service sector largely interested in therapy alone, for learning

    I could make a large list, you know.

    So what I am personally interested in is how we challenge not only these barriers to learning but also how we understand and challenge the barriers that individuals themselves erect. What I mean by this is often for those who are the furthest from engagement are often reluctant - indeed, will resist engaging in what is otherwise (we would say) exciting and progression informed learning. Such resistance can often be formed around comments such as "that's learning - that's not for me because I am dull'.

    I work across mental health and have done after many years and I continue to experience what I describe above. I continue to see providers apply steretypes and remain tied to perceived ability to inform how they conduct their engagement strategies. In addition, 'recipients' avoid engagement for all sorts of reasons meaning they miss out because ofen providers do not take the time to understand what prevents engagement. So, strategies have to be developed which are much more sophisticated than is currently available (in Wales, UK at least).

    So I am wondering (hopefully someone will see this) if anyone has any experience or examples of other models we could share beyond what I propose in my blog?

  • Gina Ebner's picture

    Hi Mark,

    EAEA with a number of partners has done quite a lot of work on outreach to and empowerment of disadavantaged groups. While we haven't concentrated on people with disabilities, some of the outreach strategies are certainly valid for this target group, too. Have a look at: http://www.oed-network.eu/en/about-us/resources.html 

    Gina

  • karl o'keeffe's picture

    Some very interesting comments on this thread. I just wanted to add some of our experiences running a 5 ECTS Foundations in Assistive Technology (AT) course for over 15 years. The course is aimed at assistive technology users, their family or friends and also clinical and technical professionals either working in the field or hoping to. Assistive technology is a broad subject and we are guaranteed a diverse group of participants every year. 5 years ago we changed the course from a 10 day face to face course to 3 days face to face with the remaining content being made available as elearning. Considering the nature of our subject matter and the diversity of our participants accessibility was our prime concern. From there we were lead to Universal Design for Learning UDL http://www.cast.org/our-work/about-udl.html#.WTl9W-vyvIU which I'm sure many of you are familiar with, if not visit the link above. 

    UDL goes beyond accessibility and builds in support and challenge to guide the creation of engaging content. Within education UDL and AT are closely related in their goal, to reduce barriers, however come at it from opposite directions. By examining the different approaches of AT and UDL to accessible learning we can better see where they overlap and how they can both work together creating a synergy that offers the best possible opportunity for learners. UDL seeks to educate those responsible for the design of curricula and learning environments on how to make them accessible and effective for the widest range of students. AT on the other hand looks at the barriers faced by individuals and seeks to overcome those barriers through the use of appropriate tools. 

    Both education and the area of AT have changed significantly over the last 10 years. On one hand technologies traditionally considered AT have become mainstream and ubiquitous on smart devices (text to speech, speech recognition, optical character recognition) whereas on the other “the goal of education has shifted from knowledge acquisition to learner expertise” (Anne Meyer, Universal Design for Learning: Theory and Practice). This shift from knowledge acquisition to learner expertise brings new emphases on assistive tools to support learners. While text is the dominant medium for both educational content and deliverables, AT for literacy support will be essential for some and useful many learners. This means educators need to be aware of Literacy, Productivity and Organisation technologies, their limits and capabilities. Although not part of the curriculum, training in the use of assistive software will be key in some learners’ success. Giving learners the tools to adapt content to their own needs and preferences should be seen as preferable to adapting the content for them.

     

     

     

  • karl o'keeffe's picture

    Some very interesting comments on this thread. I just wanted to add some of our experiences running a 5 ECTS Foundations in Assistive Technology (AT) course for over 15 years. The course is aimed at assistive technology users, their family or friends and also clinical and technical professionals either working in the field or hoping to. Assistive technology is a broad subject and we are guaranteed a diverse group of participants every year. 5 years ago we changed the course from a 10 day face to face course to 3 days face to face with the remaining content being made available as elearning. Considering the nature of our subject matter and the diversity of our participants accessibility was our prime concern. From there we were lead to Universal Design for Learning UDL http://www.cast.org/our-work/about-udl.html#.WTl9W-vyvIU which I'm sure many of you are familiar with, if not visit the link above. 

    UDL goes beyond accessibility and builds in support and challenge to guide the creation of engaging content. Within education UDL and AT are closely related in their goal, to reduce barriers, however come at it from opposite directions. By examining the different approaches of AT and UDL to accessible learning we can better see where they overlap and how they can both work together creating a synergy that offers the best possible opportunity for learners. UDL seeks to educate those responsible for the design of curricula and learning environments on how to make them accessible and effective for the widest range of students. AT on the other hand looks at the barriers faced by individuals and seeks to overcome those barriers through the use of appropriate tools. 

    Both education and the area of AT have changed significantly over the last 10 years. On one hand technologies traditionally considered AT have become mainstream and ubiquitous on smart devices (text to speech, speech recognition, optical character recognition) whereas on the other “the goal of education has shifted from knowledge acquisition to learner expertise” (Anne Meyer, Universal Design for Learning: Theory and Practice). This shift from knowledge acquisition to learner expertise brings new emphases on assistive tools to support learners. While text is the dominant medium for both educational content and deliverables, AT for literacy support will be essential for some and useful many learners. This means educators need to be aware of Literacy, Productivity and Organisation technologies, their limits and capabilities. Although not part of the curriculum, training in the use of assistive software will be key in some learners’ success. Giving learners the tools to adapt content to their own needs and preferences should be seen as preferable to adapting the content for them.

     

     

     

  • Anna Kwiatkowska's picture

    Here is KA2 AdultsEducation project:

    http://www.safelabs.eu

    How to prepare and lead a safe computer lab for adults with intellectual disability.

  • Anna Kwiatkowska's picture

    Here is KA2 AdultsEducation project:

    safelabs.eu

    How to prepare and lead a safe computer lab for adults with intellectual disability.

  • Anna Kwiatkowska's picture

    Hello, my name is Ana. I work in the Polish Association for Persons with Intellectual Disability. I'm and IT specialist  and project manager. I lead projects on application of IT methods in adults with intellectual disability education and therapy. Just two days ago I was leading a conference IT for Persons with Intellectual Disability. The conference had dwo paralel panels - one for teachers/trainers/IT specialists, second for persons with disability (workshop at computers). And we had short discussion - is it a good practice to make two different programs. Coz persons with disability wants to be like others. The conclusion was - yes, it is their right to get knowledge in  accesible way.

    So this is the next requirement - accessibility.

  • CARMELO SALVATORE BENFANTE PICOGNA's picture

    Good afternoon to all of you. Today's subject is very interesting. I have been involved in over 10 years of inclusion of disabled pupils/stundents in schools as a coordinator of teaching groups that support the activities of schools. One of the problems that we live every day is the parents' fear of what their children will become as adults and when they (parents) will no longer be there. There are many associations that deal with this issue and I think that we should always talk about it and try to find appropriate solutions.