Archive of European Projects

Visual Impairment Social Inclusion ON
Start date: 01 Sep 2014, End date: 31 Aug 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Our way to be and to behave is deeply influenced by our visual perception, which determines our understanding of the situation and the space that surrounds us. Visually impaired (v.i.) people can easily become isolated from their community because they do not feel confident with themselves and this makes them feel inappropriate in every context. This reflects and affects their everyday life because they generally find it harder to attend school, get employment or take part in day-to-day community activities. We believe that exclusion comes first from within due to the lack of confidence, which is why V.I.S.I.ON aimed at helping v.i. children to develop physical and vocal confidence of expression and to utilize this self-assurance in their everyday life. The project was focused on the creation of a method for "teaching self awareness, confidence and consciousness of the space around" to v.i. children and young people through the instruments of theatre. The organisations, involved in this project - 8 partners from 5 countries - demonstrate an array of expertise, extremely beneficial for the complex endeavour under the VISION project. The coordinator from BG - FDCBPCS - has years of experience with socially responsible projects, implemented within international consortia. FDCBPCS experience in cultural and peer learning as well as the direct impressions from the practice of the Italian partners - MusicÁrte and I'Bohemiens (artistic and cultural institutions) - in theatrical work with blind and visually impaired adults - formed the grounds of the VISION project. The mentioned Italian partners excelled at organising and conducting the activities with the v.i. participants in Palermo. They were involved both in the elaboration of the IOs and the conducting of the piloting with the children. They also hosted the two big successful testing events - C1 and C2. The 2nd BG partner - the school for v.i. children "Louis Braille" - is an educational institution, which is specialised in teaching v.i. children. They provided the setting for the work with the children in Sofia and participated in all scientific activities. "Hope for all" association from BG - a socially active NGO, working with children and young people with disabilities - was responsible for the group of v.i. children in Tarnovo. The partner from Wales - UCAN Productions - is an artistic organisation, working with v.i. children and young people via drama approaches for development of physical and vocal confidence. UCAN were exceptionally important for the project due to their twelve years of experience in the field, their immense access to the v.i. community in Wales and England, their excellent connections in this educational sphere and their contribution towards increased visual awareness among the team members and the broader community, involved in the project. In LUX - Dante Alighieri Societa - is a cultural and creative non-profit organisation, which not only supported the project scientifically, but also involved v.i. workshop leaders in demonstrational workshops with students from the European school II in LUX and their parents, most of whom are employed in the local EU institutions. Inforef from Belgium boasts scientific, managerial and technical experiences from numerous EU projects. Inforef was responsible for the technical side of VISION - they developed videos and created and maintained the accessible project web-site with exceptional professionalism, quality and strictly following the accessibility recommendations coming from our v.i. participants. The project developed a training method, consisting of visual awareness guidelines for facilitators of drama workshops and an abundance of exercises, which can be used for the purpose of developing physical and vocal confidence among v.i. people. About 50 v.i. children from BG, IT and the UK were at the core of the project and participated in testing its approach. The main results are: - National reports on experiences and good practices, supported by a transnational report summarizing the results. - A transnational cross-thematic report from psychological, theatrical and tyflopedagogical perspective. - Pilot testing of the programme in Palermo - short-term staff training (C1). - National workshops plus an international closing workshop week in Palermo (C2), where children from BG, IT and the UK worked together with facilitators in mixed groups. - A training programme encompassing the specific expertise of psychologists, tyflopedagogists and theatre experts for building self assurance and confidence. The provided theatrical exercises are all accompanied by clear guidelines for the trainers, explaining the activities (and their meaning) to be performed, plus visual awareness and safety instructions. - Questionnaires/interviews for evaluation, presented to children & trainers. - WE SHARE THE VISION demo workshops with the VISION approach. - an accessible Website and abundant video documentation.
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