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Start date: Jun 1, 2015, End date: May 31, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

EDUCARE is a European staff exchange programme where partner organisations have found a common interest in the theme of behavioural problems in connection with visual impairment. As we experience the number of young people with VI (Visual Impairment) and MDVI (Multi Disabled Visually Impaired) with behaviour problems has been growing and the professionals working in the field of VI are facing to challenging situations in what they can not function in an adequate way. Lack of competencies generate new problems and cause stressful situations on both sides. Therefore, the teachers and other professionals recognise the need to increase the quality of professional knowledge and understanding of the target group. Visual impairment is a low incidence disability. Special organisations working in this field tend to be the only one within their country and are in a position to reach out beyond national boundaries to work with others dealing with the same issues and challenges. Fortunately, through our previous cooperation in EU projects and networks, like MDVI Euronet and ENVITER, the partners have established good contacts. We believe in this cooperation which enable us to benefit knowledge, good practices and strategies. There will be 10 partners (all together) in the project, each partner will send 3 to 5 professionals to the exchange activity. The profile of the participants: a professional with a background in VI/MDVI, a few years of work experience in the field of VI/MDVI, working with children/young people with behavioural problems, speaking and reading English on good conversational level and highly motivated to learn, share and implement lessons learned. The partner organisations agreed upon the following objectives: - Sharing recent research/literature available in Europe - Better understanding of the needs of the target group - Discovering models/approaches for professionals/staff to deal with the issues - Sharing and exchanging the challenges and (good) practice - Improving the staff competences regarding the treatment of behavioural problems of pupils and students/clients with VI/MDVI (knowledge, skills, attitude) - Adoption of the strategies shared - Implementing new knowledge, skills - Reducing the stress level of the professional - Better achievements of pupils and students with VI/MDVI with behavioural problems There will be 4 staff exchanges, each with a range of activities. Every exchange will be focuse on one particular behavioural issue. During the exchange events experts will train the 3 different models from the Netherlands, good practices will be shared, new methodologies will be introduced with case studies, current research results related to the professional interest, giving a coordinated overview of specific behavioural disorders in relation to those with VI/MDVI so as to give the professionals new tools to work with the target group. In between the exchange events a number of activities will be carried out by the participants like reading the recommended literature, working on questionnaires, discussing, evaluating and analysing case studies, writing reports and giving presentations in their own language for the colleagues in the organisation and all over the country. Topics of the four exchanges/trainings events: 1. Introduction to 3 methodologies developed in the Netherlands (Holland) 2. Aggression/Self-inflicted injuries (Hungary) 3. Behavioural problems related to autism (Osimo, Italy) 4. Transition processes and the relation to difficult behaviour (Slovenia) Professionals working in the field of visual impairment will be addressed through this project dealing with complex and severe individual impairments. The results of the project will be on 3 different levels. Staff/short term results: The knowledge: the professionals will learn about specific (international) models, methods, practices and techniques, will result in earlier recognition and better understanding of the problem. Skills and competences of the professionals will be improved, they will learn how to use/adopt these techniques in order to integrate them into daily activities, so we can expect more appropriate interventions in the future. 2. Staff/long term results: The staff will be prepared/trained to handle the problems of pupils and students with VI/MDVI and behavioural problems, which will decrease stress level, give confidence and improve the learning experience of VI/MDVI persons. 3. Long term results for the population in a wider perspectives: Long-term benefits of improved staff competences will also show in better prevention and abilities to avoid severe behavioural problems, in addition, we expect the target group will have better opportunities to set out on the road to be more integrated in society.
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