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Better communication skills with COM-IN

EASPD's new project COM-IN will promote communicative development in children and adolescents with intellectual developmental disabilities to support their inclusion.

« Promoting communicative development in children and adolescents with intellectual developmental disabilities to support their inclusion »

The kick off meeting of the newly funded Erasmus + Cooperation Partnership “COM-IN” took place on February 3rd and 4th. The project was developed by Christelle Declercq, associate professor in the C2S (Cognition Health Society) laboratory of the University of Reims Champagne Ardenne in France. It aims to identify how better communication skills can support young people aged 10 to 25 years with intellectual developmental disabilities in Europe. Using this information, the project will then create training for professionals to help them develop the socio-communicative skills of the young people the work with.

Within the EU, there is a lack of implementation of appropriate strategies to support communication. Support for adolescents and young adults is still scarce, and there is no harmonisation at the European level in support programmes, or in the training of professionals working with these impaired populations. Indeed, there are strong disparities between the Member States on this subject, which has led to different professional practices to support the development and inclusion of these young people.

Support in communication is essential to allow people with intellectual developmental disabilities to learn, work, develop relationships and engage in different social contexts, and it is worth noting that professionals in the field have expressed a crucial need for training in this area of communication.

The project plans to achieve 4 primary outcomes:

  1. An awareness survey on the training needs of professionals working with youth with intellectual developmental disabilities
  2. A guide on the development of socio-communicative skills for professionals
  3. A training module for professionals on the development of social-communication skills
  4. A MOOC (massive open online cource) developed from the guide and the training module

8 partners from 5 European countries are part of this project which will last 36 months:

L'Association de l'Institut Régional du Travail Social Champagne-Ardenne, administrative coordinator of the project, University of Reims Champagne Ardenne, partner and responsible for the production of the results, European Association of Service providers for People with Disabilities (EASPD, Belgium), University of Liège (Belgium), Service Foundation for People with an Intellectual Disability (KVPS, Finland), MARGARITA (vocational training center, Greece), Fundació Campus Arnau d'Escala (FCAE, Spain), Fundació Tutelar de les Comarques Gironines (SUPPORT-Girona, Spain).

In the coming months, we will be releasing the survey, and hope that many of our members will participate to help us get the results we need to make the project a success.