SUSKIDS and FORDYS-VAR, two Erasmus+ aimed at students with Special Educational Needs

Two new Erasmus+ projectsaimed at the design innovative educational tools and the promotion of social inclusionhave started in 2018 leaded by UBU. In the last months, two new projects funded within the Erasmus+ Programme have held  their Kick-Off Meetings, both leaded by University of Burgos. In both of them, the final users are students with different types of disabilities or learning difficulties, and KVeloce is member of the Consortium carrying out different tasks. 

 On the one hand, the Project “SUSKIDS-Enabling professionals and families to transfer sustainable knowledge and skills to Down Syndrome individuals” aims to provide teachers, proffesionals, families and associations  with tailored tools to enhance the opportunities of youngsters aged between 12 and 18 with Down Syndrome, in the fields of sustainability and construction using recycled materials.  

SUSKIDS Consortium is leaded by Sara Gutiérrez, from the GIIE Building Engineering Research Group,  which has a wide experience offering courses on sustainability and the recycling of building materials, aimed at children at different ages. In this project,  KVeloce is the Communication and Dissemination Leader and will be in charge of creating the strategy and tools to expand SUSKIDS  reach, as well as supporting UC-Leuven Limburg (UCLL, Belgium ) in the quality and social innovation assessment. In addition, professionals from other 4 entities take part in the Consortium. Two Universities, the Trinity College  Dublin (TCD, Ireland) and  UC-Leuven Limburg (UCLL, Belgium),both with a long run in the adaptation of educational resources to the field of Special Education and in the Support of students with different educational needs to reach higher education, will be in charge, respectively,  of  developing the  framework and materials and assessing the quality of the Project outcomes; a public body, the NCCA (National Council for Curriculum and Assessment, Ireland), as part of the Department for Education and Skills, will be responsible of assessing and certifying the contents for the different education levels, providing as well materials and resources for innovation; the Down Syndrome Association Burgos (ASDB) is a NGO representing the families of Down Syndrome individuals, which has a wide contact network all along Europe and the mission of testing the Project outputs with real users, as well as helping in the dissemination and implementation of the Project  among other NGOs in Spain and Europe; on their part, Bjäland (Spain), which is a technological  SME  that will develop the tools planned within the Project: the toolkit with resources and materials, and the Virtual Learning Environment. This way, SUSKIDS will contribute to train teachers and professionals to translate scientific and technical skills, and to enhance the inclusion of Down Syndrome individuals, generating a pilot course officially recognised at the European level and the corresponding evaluation tools, as well as open materials that can be adapted to other fields and educational needs.  

 

On the other hand, FORDYS-VAR “Fostering inclusive learning for children with dyslexia in europe by providing easy-to-use virtual and/or augmented reality tools and guidelines aims to contribute to the inclusion of children with dyslexia using Virtual (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR), and to reduce the educational differences in this collective, offering easy and practical tools to teachers that help them enhancing their capacities to adapt the contents to their students’ characteristics. 

The Project is leaded by Victor Abella, who is the Director of the Virtual Education Centre at UBU and has worked together with his team in different projects aimed at the teachers training in the field of inclusion and learning difficulties. 

Moreover, 4 additional entities take part in the consortium: ARSOFT is a Spanish  technological SME made up of specialized professionals, which will develop the AR/VR tools to enable the visualization of concepts and the interaction with the materials; the Scientific Institute Medea (Italy), through their specialized rehabilitation centre, will be in charge of managing the ethical and quality issues of the Project, due to their long experience; the Bucharest Children’s Dyslexics Association (Romania), as  member of the European Dyslexia Association and promoter of  different sociocultural and educational activities fostering inclusion and solidarity, will provide the testing of the designed tools with real users, and the strategy and tools to spread the project’s reach,  being the Communication and Dissemination Leader. In this project, KVeloce will be the technical leader, coordinating all the activities mentioned above, and ensuring the efficiency in the project development, designing the correction measures in case they are needed.  

Through workshops held in each participating country, FORDYS-VAR aims to reach families and professionals in different fields, such as teachers, psychologists ,and speech therapists, to offer resources and tools that allow the detection of dyslexia at the first symptoms  and reinforce the motivation and the quality of learning for diagnosed children.