Innovative Practice 2020 on Inclusive Education and ICT

Multilingual training platform for parents and guardians

ELPIDA (E‐Learning Platform for Intellectual Disability Awareness) is a grant-funded project launched by a consortium of European organizations – including an independent research centre, non-profit association, social enterprise, state-funded resource centre, and university – to equip parents of persons with intellectual disabilities with the knowledge and skills to better support their children. As of September 2019, some 400 parents have completed this free, multilingual online course.

“Rights-based trainings have a positive impact on the lives of persons with disabilities and their families.”

Albert PrevosMember of the Executive Board, European Disability Forum
About the practice at a glance
Name of Innovative Practice:ELPIDA (E‐Learning Platform for Intellectual Disability Awareness)
Organisation:Foundation of Research and Technology – Hellas (FORTH), the European Parents’ Association, Puzzle S.E., Center for Specialpædagogiske Børnetilbud, Internationaler Bund Südwest, and Oslo Metropolitan University, International Parents Alliance
Country
of Implementation
Greece and other European countries
Start Year2017

FACTS & FIGURES

  • The course is available in Danish, English, German, Greek, Norwegian, and Portuguese and has been taken by approximately 400 parents, from 2017 to 2019.

PROBLEMS TARGETED

Most approaches to supporting persons with intellectual disabilities are focused either on the people themselves or on the professionals who work with them, while overlooking the importance of training parents and guardians.

SOLUTION, INNOVATION, AND IMPACT

The ELPIDA project meets the training and support needs of parents and guardians of persons with intellectual disabilities by offering an evidence-based online course about their children’s rights and needs. By educating parents, the project aims to create a positive secondary effect on the quality of life of persons with intellectual disabilities.

Parents, practitioners, and experts in human rights, disability rights, and parent rights collaboratively designed the course content to address topics identified as important by parents. The course is self-paced and comprised of six stand-alone modules: human rights, communication, stress management, transition to adulthood, sexual health, and ageing. The course is comprised of six stand-alone modules: human rights, communication, stress management, transition to adulthood, sexual health, and ageing.

Since its launch in October 2017, the course, which is free of charge, has been taken by approximately 400 people in six different languages. As a result, parents report that they have a better understanding of their children’s rights and needs, can communicate more effectively with professionals about their children, and can better manage their own stress.

A hand holds a mobile phone showing a website of the E-learing plattfrom for intellectual disability awareness.

Courses can also be taken on smartphones.

FUNDING, OUTLOOK AND TRANSFERABILITY

The ELPIDA project is funded as an Erasmus+ project by the European Union with a grant of €188,578 covering a two-year period (October 2017 to September 2019). The consortium will seek additional funding in 2020 and is maintaining all activities in the meantime. Further funds will be used to expand the parent training; to create a welcoming space for awareness-raising about intellectual disability inclusion; to train persons with intellectual disabilities as self-advocates; and to have more countries represented in the consortium.

The European Disability Forum endorsed the ELPIDA project as an inspiring practice, and the European Research Network about Parents in Education recognized the needs assessment study used to identify the course topics as valuable research.

Since the course content is based on expert evidence-based input from multiple countries, the course can be easily replicated in additional languages.

 

FACTSHEET

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LINKS AND FURTHER READING