The goal of this project consists on strengthening the profile of teaching profession, especially for those working closely with individuals with communication difficulties, ie classroom assistants, teachers, therapists.
AAC@school is focused on supporting inclusion of disadvantaged learners in school educational paths through a specific methodology: Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) and the most recent ICT applications and devices connected to that.
Main need addressed is the gap in communication and literacy abilities of students with significant communication difficulties – such as persons with different cultural and/or language background, people with disabilities – for many people in fact the ability to communicate is such an integral part of life that they take it for granted and do not realize its value in connecting them to others, enabling them to conduct an independent life.
For these people who have severe communication impairments an AAC method may mean the answer to silence, isolation and dependence. Every students with a communication difficulty is entitled to education within the least restrictive environment, that is he/she should be given the opportunity to be educated with same age peers and have access to the general education curricula to the greatest extent possible, with supplementary aids provided as necessary. The goal of AAC intervention for school-age children is in fact to increase the potential of success of these students in a learning environment that relies heavily on oral and written communication. This methodology aim to provide equal opportunities for all to let children acquire, use and develop their language and communication skills across subjects, people and situations throughout, outside and beyond school life.
The project has 5 OBJECTIVES:
- Deepen understanding and use of AAC methodologies in school contexts, this will be done by exploring all forms of AAC practices (including ICT solutions). This will be carried out at European level by inputs of experts and equally important by the exchange between partners. Enriched by this initial research and exchange work, all partners will explore their own organisation and local/national context with a renewed eye.
- Offer a EU space for peer-to-peer learning and reflection. This learning mode is very powerful as reflecting on the same activities with different points of view leads to unique outputs. The exchange of practices will be encouraged by the implementation of collaborative platform, facilitating development of a community among the partners and beyond.
- Review existing and create new tools to support the use of AAC: lot of material is already existing and some partners have policies and processes in place, so they will share and adapt what available supported by other partners and experts.
- Training teachers/professors/educators: being them primary link to children and young people they are the ones that could support the development of AAC friendly schools. This training is fundamental to ensure the quality of the delivery it is also the reason why the main target of all outputs created during the project lifecycle is them.
- Spreading knowledge, sharing results to promote AAC at school. The project foresees specific communication and dissemination activities, because these are key elements to allow other organizations to benefit from the project.
The great variety expressed by the partners involved allows to address the activities to different age groups and school contexts, in order to develop outputs encompassing different scenarios and backgrounds and for this reason the transnationality is fundamental, because it gives a wider perspective and collection of best practices and knowledge across European countries involved in this action.