What is Improving Assistance in Inclusive Educational Settings?
Improving Assistance in Inclusive Educational Settings is a project funded by Erasmus+ under key action 2: Cooperation for Innovation and the exchange of good practices.The main objective of the project is to establish a common framework to analyze the work, career and conditions of these assistants in Europe. Furthermore, it will analyze the current state of the learning and support assistants’ job environment in the partner countries and work towards an ideal version to support disabled students rights foreseen in the UN Convention for the Rights of Persons with disabilities.
The first meeting of the project took place in Gleisdorf, Austria in the premises of Chance B on the 10th and 11th of November.
In this meeting the partners establish a common working framework and exchange practices of the various countries regarding inclusive education in schools and especially the role and conditions of learning and support assistants in each country’s educational system.
They also agreed on the specific dimensions to study and compare the role of learning and support assistant.
In the kick-off meeting the partners also visit St. Margarethen primary school to observe the work of learning and support assistants in Austria.
Who are the partners
Chance B Group is a service providing organisation in the Eastern part of Styria in Austria. For the population of around 270.000 inhabitants living in this regiona Chance B group provides service to support inclusive living for persons with all kind of needs. The group provides 26 different services, most of them are provided in people’s homes, in kindergartens, schools, in enterprises.
Mr Michael Longhino coordinates the project on behalf of Chance B, stating "learning and support assistants play a crucial role in flowering out the potentials of children in inclusive educational systems. Furthermore they help to ensure human rights in the light of UN-CRPD, like participation, autonomy and self-determination in classrooms. The highly motivated project start makes me believe, that this partnership will contribute to further develop and professionalize systems for learning support across Europe and therefore will bring benefit to assistants and children in inclusive educational settings."
ARCIL provides a wide range of services in the rehabilitation field for children, youngsters and adults with disability or other special needs in the centre region of Portugal - technical support for children with SEN in inclusive schools, vocational and professional training, sheltered employment and integration in open labour market, occupational activities, residential facilities for children and adults, home care support and leisure time activities, including tourism for all.
Mr João Canossa Dias, from ARCIL declared: “ARCIL, with its 40 years of experience promoting Inclusion and believing in the potential of human diversity, expects that this project will help our organizations learning and improving in partnership.”
The Centre for Studies on Inclusive Education (CSIE) is an independent centre, set up in 1982, actively supporting inclusive education as a human right of every child. CSIE work is driven by a commitment to overcome barriers to learning and participation for all children and young people. Activities include lobbying and campaigning, research, training, consultancy and dissemination of information.
Artemi Sakellariadis, CSIE director, represents CSI in the project and stated : “We are delighted to be part of this project and look forward to making a positive contribution to the way pupil support is organised in schools.”
The European Association of Service providers for Persons with Disabilities is a non-profit European umbrella organization, established in 1996, and currently representing over 12,000 social and health services for persons with disabilities. EASPD advocates for effective and high-quality disability-related services in the field of education, employment and individualised support, in line with the UN CRPD principles, which could bring benefits not only to persons with disabilities, but to society as a whole.
Luk Zelderloo, EASPD’s secretary General affirmed that “learning and support assistants are the centerpieces of an inclusive educational system. Creating conditions to empower these professionals in line with UN CRPD is essential.”
TENENET o.z. was created in August 2011 as a reaction on many job seekers with disabilities who came to the precedent TENENET sheltered workshop. The new NGO was established as a social and psychological advisory centre with professional staff, consisting of psychologist;, psychotherapists; terrain social workers; street workers and youth workers, helping disabled clients, children in social need and youth with behaviour problems.
Elena Kopcová, CEO of TENENET, represents it in the project:“TENENET is aware of importance of the inclusive education not only for better socialization and inclusion of children with disabilities, but also for their future life - their chances for employment inclusion, independent living and better quality of their life.”
Vision, the agency for social development, is a legal entity with non-profit purpose which works in public benefit. The organisation is specialised as a service provider in the area of culture and social development. The organisation provides information and legal and administrative consulting, methodic and creative intermediation and other services in order to motivate its clients for active and personal realisation.
Ms Janeta Georgieva, President of the Agency for Social Development "Vision" represents Vision in the project "аll children have the right to education, and therefore, the project will seek to further promote equality, accessibility of educational settings and provision of a common qualification profile in order to deliver quality services all over Europe."
André Félix, Events Officer
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