“V.I.S.I.ON: VISUAL IMPAIREMENT SOCIAL INCLUSION ON” is a project funded by the European Commission through the Erasmus+ Programme, KA2 „Cooperation for innovation and exchange of good practices”.
Contract number: 2014-1-BG01-KA201-001555
Our vision is of a world where visually impaired young people enjoy the same opportunities and quality of life as those who are sighted.
Key issues identified by visually impaired young people include:
- How to communicate through ‘sighted’ means (e.g. using body language)
- Difficulties in making, and staying, friends with other young people
- The need for peer support
- Dealing with ‘difficult’ and ‘awkward’ people
V.I.S.I.ON aims to help V.I. children to overcome all barriers to develop confidence to believe in themselves and to “spread” their self-assurance and confidence around them via:
- developing physical and vocal confidence, raising aspirations and promoting individual abilities of visually impaired young people by using specialised participatory performance arts training;
- challenging the public perception of the capabilities of visually impaired young people and positively influencing policy and behaviours affecting young blind and partially sighted people in Europe
Basically, V.I.S.I.ON concerns the creation of a method for "teaching self awareness and consciousness of the space around" to V.I. kids through the expressions of theatre and interactivity with the stage, music, nature, city sounds and contact.
The main activities included in the project are as follows:
O1-A1: Involvement of participants
During this activity the partners will identify and involve the target groups (both V.I. children and theater experts and trainers) and will undertake their interviewing for the purpose of outlining specific needs, which have to be taken into consideration within the project and the training program.
The children will also be interviewed concerning their English language skills.
Communication with parents is going to take place in order for the project activities to be described to them and agreement for involvement to be granted.
O1-A2 Research and analysis of needs and good practices
In order to collect as many empirical experiences as we can about the relation between visual impairment and theatre, the first step will focus on the past experiences of each partner, which will have to provide an explanatory document in the form of a report.
This research will go further and gather empirical evidences on the importance of theatre in helping self-awareness and consciousness of visually impaired people. The research will be implemented by all partners except Inforef.
All national reports will be collected and integrated into a comparative transnational report.
On the basis of these reports the collection of practices and case studies (empirical evidence) will be summarized and organized online on the web-site. It will be the task of INFOREF to organize the database and create the web-site with the specifics, which are further explained in the respective activity.
O2 – A1 Scientific state of the art in the use of theater in visual impairment situations
This activity deals with the selection of researchers addressing different points of view of the visual impairment situation: psychologists, tiflopedagogists (experts / educators, specialized in the field of visual impairment) + experts in theatrical techniques. The partners will identify the necessary experts. There is a minimum of two experts from each typology involved in common activities from at least two different participating countries.
The deliverable consists of a report made by the three typologies of experts involved in the project who will analyze the good practices provided in O1 and write other documents to be used as scientific pillars of the VISION training program.
03 – A1 Developing and pilot testing the training program
This activity refers to the real creation of the training program as structure and methodology starting from the reports that have been developed within the first two work packages. It will be developed by the synergy of the efforts of the involved experts from the partner organizations – researchers with specific expertise (psychology, tiflopedagogists), theatre directors, and experts on the issues related to visual impairment.
The pilot training program will be elaborated and tested (for one week – 5 working days) in Palermo by Music Arte and I Bohemiens with 10 visually impaired children in the Teatro Finocchiaro. Initial testing of the pilot program will take place on stage.
Trainers not involved as staff in the project, from all partner organizations will join the pilot testing.
The experience from the workshop will be recorded on videos by the organizers and Inforef and will then be edited by the Inforef experts. The final version will be uploaded in the website and on the Youtube page of the project.
After the method has been monitored and tested, a tangible document, explaining the activities (and their meaning) to be performed on the stage (also using music, street sounds, nature sounds and skin contacts) and the interaction between the director and the children, will be developed. It will be organized in the form of the structure and proposed contents of a “train the trainer” guide. This deliverable will be finalized after the workshops included in the exploitation activity.
O3-A2 Exploitation and conveyance at European dimension
According to the results of the previous activity now the VISION program will be transferred on a wider scale.
The method will be shared with the partners and the associated actors (theatres, schools and institutions) of the project to be disseminated and tested in different realities and countries.
The method will be tested with a group of Visually Impaired children - 20 BG, 10 LUX, a minimum of 10 ITA and 5 Welsh - within a one month workshop, taking place during Fri-Sun period for about 3 hours daily, including a closing week in Palermo, for another confirmation of its applicability and adaptability both in a national and international dimension. The scheduling of the workshop will logically coincide with holidays in order for the children to be able to travel and enjoy the international part of the workshop in Palermo.
04 – A1 (Dissemination)
In order to reach as many end-users as possible and to be able to obtain a better synchrony among the different types of organizations, the dissemination activities will be similar for each type of organization:
• Publication of project information, news and developed method in the partners’ website
• Presentation of the project and method during internal events at the organizations involved as well as at interested organizations.
• Email dissemination to interested parties list
• Contacting parents through disseminating to parents associations and NGOs and schools, working with visually impaired children
• Creation of the V.I.S.I.ON page in Facebook
• Print of posters, flyers, calendars, t-shirts “WE SHARE THE VISION”. They will all be printed with the Braille version and the V.I.S.I.ON logo will be embossed.
• Creation of CDs with recorded lessons for visually impaired children and full-package DVDs with videos from the workshops for trainers, who would like to use the method in their practices.
• A “We share the VISION” flash mob
• A collection of videos, showing moments from the workshops and events.
O5-A1 Developing video documentation / tutorials
A number of videos showing moments from the pilot testing, the workshops and events, video tutorials, which are going to be edited and subtitled by INFOREF. The translations of the texts are going to be provided by the respective partners.
The experts involved in the implementation phase will be requested to record video tutorials with explanations of specific topics concerning the training program they have special expertise into.
The video collection will include:
- edited and subtitled video from the pilot testing in Palermo;
- edited and subtitled videos from the workshops in the participating regions - edited and subtitled;
- video tutorials with instructions from experts involved in the project;
- videos from the flash mobs conducted in all partner regions;
- the "white" smiles promotional video showing the happy faces of the VISION group.
The videos will be available to the media for broadcasting. They will be uploaded on the project web-site, on the project facebook page, on youtube.
E1-B1 Organized conferences in each partner region for presenting the program
Five conferences with duration of one day will be organised in Palermo, Sofia, Veliko Tarnovo, Luxembourg city and Cardiff at the same date for presenting the project results.
Each hosting member will be in charge of inviting members of public authorities, associations of parents of visually impaired children, theatres, cultural organizations, decision and policy makers, etc.
C1 - Short-term joint staff training events “Training the Trainers”
During the pilot testing implemented in Palermo a staff training will take place, including practical activities and work with the children, brainstorming and discussion sessions.
C2 - Short-term exchanges of groups of pupils
The last week of the international workshop, which will get the children together in Palermo and will be the peak of the activity – one common multi-sense concerted training/peer learning action.
School “Louis Braille”, BG
Association “Hope for all”,
Veliko Tarnovo, BG
I Bohemiens, IT
Official associated partners:
European Blind Union
Unione Italiana dei Ciechi e degli Ipovedenti