Online Platform for Exchange of Special Needs Youth Work Methods (OPEN)

Our project combines the efforts of 5 youth NGOs and 1 umbrella organisation from 5 countries (BG, IT, MK, RO and SI) on crossectoral level (youth and school education) in developing the first online platform (OPEN platform) for validating good practices in youth work that can be applied to 5 groups of youth learners with special needs: Autism, Visual and Hearing Impairments, Dyslexia, Physical Difficulties. These are the most common types of learning difficulties, acknowledged on national and European level. More and more youth work needs to address these challenges young people face. However, youth workers across EU do not have always the necessary instruments and know-how. Our project will explore a possible solution to this challenge by linking special needs education specialists and youth workers in our partner countries and across Europe through the innovative OPEN platform.

Our cross-country review of current situation in partner countries (BG, RO, SI, MK and IT) confirmed that to a large extent young people in the age group of 13-18, suffering from any of the above forms of learning difficulties study with the support of education professionals (e.g., resource teachers), usually stationed either within mainstream school education institutions and/or separate special needs centres. Along with majority of public supported education services, some youth prefer to use the services of private training providers.

Objectives of our project

Our main aim is to increase youth worker’s effectiveness in facilitating training and other activities, involving youth with learning difficulties.

The main objectives to reach this goal are:

  • To develop an online platform (OPEN platform) in 6 languages (BG, RO, SI, MK, IT and EN) for exchange of good practices in the field of youth work with young people, facing learning difficulties and conducting 2 thematic webinars;
  • To develop an evaluation methodology for validating the good practices as applicable in one or more of the 5 areas of learning difficulties (Autism, Visual and Hearing Impairments, Dyslexia, Physical Difficulties);
  • To conduct piloting of the platform, involving validation of 10 good practices and implementation of 2 thematic seminars;
  • To provide ongoing dissemination of project’s results among youth workers communities in partner countries and across Europe.

There were two trainings organised as activities of the project. One was organised in Sofia, Bulgaria and the second one in Ohrid, Macedonia.

  • The training in Sofia was implemented between 6-10 June 2018. 

During the training there were 2 participants from each partner. The sessions were tackling the topic of inclusive classrooms and how to use technology to enable the young people with disparities to improve the access to quality education.

This video  is a visual presentation of the activities done during the training.

  • The training in Ohrid was implemented between 17-23 August.

The training was focusing on the inclusion of the people in the regular schools and reviewing national policies about inclusive education. Guests from special and inclusive schools from Skopje and representatives from the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy of The Republic of Macedonia were present during the training and explaining the policies and current situation in the country.

This video  is a visual presentation of the activities done during the training.

The project continues and we are preparing exciting activities soon!

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