Statement on the current situation
The current situation, caused by COVID-19, is also affecting our project AMEDY:
Originally it was planned to test the developed blended learning training, which is aimed at professionals working with intellectually disabled youth and shall teach them media literacy, in a two-month pilot phase starting after Easter until mid-June. Since the training is based on a blended learning approach, i.e. a combination of face-to-face meetings and online courses, it is not possible to carry out the training in view of the current circumstances.
Not only are there plans for a kick-off face-to-face meeting at the beginning and a final event at the end of the training, but the training is particularly characterised by the fact that the pedagogical staff will directly implement and apply what they have learned online in their practical work with the young people.
Furthermore, co-design workshops should be held in cooperation with the participants of the training in order to develop support strategies together. These strategies should be tailored to the specific needs of young people with intellectual disabilities and show pedagogical professionals how they can support and accompany their target group in the digital world. Since the co-design workshops should be implemented, among other things, in the context of the face-to-face meetings of the training, they too cannot be carried out as planned for the time being.
The consortium has agreed to await the month of April to see how the situation develops and then decide at the beginning of May whether the pilot phase of the training will be postponed for a few months in the originally planned format or, if no timely improvement of the situation is in sight, to switch to a purely online format. The registration phase for the training, which should actually already be running, was therefore postponed, too.
Planning for the big multiplier event, which is to take place on 3 December 2020 on the occasion of the International Day for People with Disabilities, is also currently on hold.
The work of the project consortium is therefore currently focused on the further conceptual development of the training and co-design workshops as well as the development of the toolbox with concrete measures to raise awareness of the project's topic throughout Europe.
With all the effects that the current situation is having on our work and our project, we should not forget those who will ultimately benefit from our project: This is not an easy time, especially for young people with intellectual disabilities. No matter if they live in day care organisations or at home with their parents, their opportunities to participate in public life are limited. There are many things that are happening right now they may not be able to classify or understand. The lack of social contact and the unfamiliar circumstances can have negative consequences, especially for this target group. It is therefore important to guarantee a regular daily routine with various activities. Digital media can help – to stay in touch with family and friends, play games or learn something new. In the next few weeks we will provide some tips and suggestions on our Facebook page how physical distancing won’t lead to social isolation!