index for inclusion
As a language teacher in adult education I have not always found it easy to get adequate resources when meeting students with learning difficulties in our groups. I remember my first job as an English teacher, back in 1993, when we actually struggled a bit with an adult student with acute vision impairment. We didn’t have, in those days, the support and professional staff around that we can find nowadays. Then came teaching experiences with hearing impairment students, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, dyslexia, or communication disabilities to name my most recurrent cases. Only recently the main difference between learning disabilities and learning difficulties has been revealed to me! Mencap explains it well for us (click here).
«The last puzzle part in a tremendous mystery that I kept to myself» Steven Spielberg about his dyslexia
most of the links that follow redirect to Centres in Spain
An interesting virtual session recently organised by FAMPA «Los Olivos» spurred me to open up a new section where I would like to share useful links for more INCLUSIVE CLASSROOMS which is just an example of a more inclusive society. To help our adult students’ learning processes when it comes to dealing with learning difficulties we must build up our ability to empathize with them first of all, I should say, by sharing their feelings or experiences and imagining what it would be like to be in that person’s situation.
So a first good meeting with the student would be a good start when we can discuss their needs, and show our availability as their teacher to help and provide all the necessary requirements, time and support. The adult student (like under age pupils do) must have had their disability fully accredited so perhaps some indications can already be found in the medical report describing how we can best address the student’s special needs.
When we have a clear first impression of the type of disability we are dealing with we can contact the Red profesional de Orientación Educativa y Atención a la Diversidad as contact details for specific guidance are provided on their website . Manuals for support of students with specific educational needs, for instance, are provided by the ETPOEP Educational and professional guidance .
«persons with disabilities» or «persons with different abilities»
If you would like to go further, the Index for Inclusion in the UK is a set of materials to guide schools through a process of inclusive school development. It is about building supportive communities and fostering high achievement for all staff and students.
The Inclusion International network participates in a great variety of projects, also within Europe like «Plena Inclusión Spain» trying to study and analyse the real needs of persons with disabilities. This major associative movement that started as FEAPS more than 50 years ago, brings together people with intellectual or developmental disabilities, their families, the professionals and volunteers who support them and other people associated, and supporters.
The University of Málaga offers standard guidelines [here] for nationwide teaching communities to implement the most suitable adjustments in SEN classrooms, methodological approaches and joint spaces. With research programs through Leeduca, a dynamic tool constantly evolving through the contributions of researchers and educational professionals.
Training courses for Official language Schools have been tailored by Serna & Bernabeu, providing teaching experiences and preparation of materials like «Diversity in Official Language Schools from an inclusive approach«.COCEMFE promotes awareness of the right of persons with dissabilities to achieve good quality inclusive education and in collaboration with schools they provide training courses to the teaching community. The main components of their courses are inclusive methodologies with examples of good practice, supportive materials and technology, accessibility and resources to enhance the learning process. Their teacher’s guide aims at raising awareness of diversity and disability in schools with activities like «#Hastag and Tik tok for Inclusion» or «S.C.A.M.P.E.R.«. Understanding executive functions in the classroom can be taught by AFIM21 where innovative methodologies based on games are used to enhance the teachers’ observation abilities to pinpoint the students’ needs. Their growing cognitive, emotional and social abilities being an important piece of the inclusive puzzle. Last but not least, the foundation Educación Activa co-founded by Jose Ramón Gamo and specialised in ADHD is also open to organise specific training that suit Schools needs.
What is interesting about the ONCE Foundation is that not only do they offer support in Education in general, but in connection with Foreign Languages students can apply for generous grants to study abroad.
FOR SUPPORT RESOURCES VISIT: Ceapat (in Spanish)
«The aim of the program is to improve the language skills in English, French or German of young people with disabilities, and thereby improve their employability and opportunity to work in technical and skilled jobs, where language skills are a priority.» (ONCE)
Special appreciation to Gabinete de Convivencia, EOE and CEFIRE for the information provided.