Let’s Stop Bullying widely praised in Spain

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Let’s Stop Bullying widely praised in Spain

Category:Workshops

The Let’sGoSkills team was hosted by the Universidad de Murcia, Spain recently. The work completed to date by the Let’sGoSkills team on the Let’s Stop Bullying was widely praised by partner countries at the third STOP DisAbuse Partner Meeting in Murcia. The Disabuse project is being led by the Anti-Bullying centre at DCU. This centre is the UNESCO Chair on Tackling Bullying in Schools and Cyberspace.

The next step is to begin the piloting of the new course on countering Disablist Bullying for SEN/D users and Teachers/Trainers from January to April 2019 . This piloting of the instructional application will take place in educational centres in Ireland, Spain , Portugal and Italy.


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INTERNATIONAL DISABUSE SEMINAR IN MURCIA, SPAIN

Category:Seminars

The third DISABUSE Multiplier Event and Partner Lego Methodology Workshop and Partner Meeting will be held at Universidad de Murcia, Spain.

15 – 16 October 2018.

This conference will be held on the subject of bullying and cyberbullying of people with SEN/D at the University of Murcia together with a meeting of the DisAbuse EU project partners. Professor Pilar Arnaiz, who is an expert in the topic of people with SEN(D) and who has directed a thesis on cyberbullying, will participate in this conference. She will present her perspective on this problem.

Two associations of people with disabilities will participate: Asteamur and Fundown. Asteamur is an association of people with autism. Research shows that people with autism are the ones who suffer most from bullying at school. This association goes to schools to give talks about the bullying suffered by people with autism. Fundown is an association that works with people with Down’s Syndrome in all aspects of life, including bullying issues. Finally, Luis F. Martínez, Head of CARM’s Diversity Service, will tell us about the current situation of people with SEN in the Region of Murcia in relation to bullying.


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INTERACTIVE MATERIAL DEVELOPMENT WORKSHOP

Category:Workshops

Marian McDonnell and Irene Connolly hosted a workshop  of the partners from ABC,DCU on the multimedia development of the materials for the DisAbuse training course. Six full modules were discussed and reviewed. Recommendations were made around how to make the materials interactive and engaging.


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INTERNATIONAL SEMINAR IN LISBON

Category:Seminars

Let’s Go skills partners Marian McDonnell and Dr Irene Connolly attended and presented at the  2nd International DisAbuse Seminar on the 9th of March in ISCTE-IUL in Lisbon.

Partners from all countries presented alongside the Ana Sofia Antunes – Portuguese State Secretary of Inclusion of People with Disabilities, Carla Moleiro – Director of CIS-IUL, ISCTE-IUL and prestigious guests from the Portuguese Association of Disabled People; APPACDM – The Portuguese Association of Parents and Friends of the Mentally Disadvantaged Citizen and Pró-Inclusão the National Association of Teachers of Special Education.

The focus of the Seminar was current Research and Best Practice cross-nationally, reflecting the first project aim of DisAbuse. The multi-lingual version of the DisAbuse website and content management system in English, Portuguese, Spanish & Italian, which was developed by the team at IADT,  was launched.

 

 

One of the main aims of the DisAbuse Project is to give SEN/D individuals voice in how the issue of disablist bullying is addressed and tackled, and amongst the guests were future participants/evaluators for the pilot testing phase of DisAbuse’s course work. As part of this, the floor was opened for an affective, instructive and emotive discussion of the bullying experiences of SEN/D individuals and those who care and work with them, underlying the value of the work being done by the project, and the necessity of directly involving those who it aims to help. You can follow the DisAbuse Facebook Page at This Link

When invited speakers finished their presentations at the conference, participants at the 2nd DisAbuse session to counter disablist bullying engaged in discussion about bullying among SEN/D individuals and what needs to be done.


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Focus groups and UX testing

Category:Focus Groups

We have been holding small focus groups with Sen(D) users  to get their views about disablist bullying. We have been gathering feedback on an early stage prototype instructional multimedia application that we are developing​ at IADT. This application’s function is to teach SEN(D) users about staying safe from bullying, both face to face, and in an online environment. The feedback so far from the users themselves has been very positive. They like the look and feel of the instructional application, the colour scheme and graphics. But they want more video and audio stories. They also wanted more games and less text. Over the month of February 2018, we will have collected feedback from 22 SEN(D)  users in total.


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Launch of EU Research Project

Category:Launch
The DISABUSE research project was launched by Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor in the Helix on December 4th, with all members of the Erasmus + project team present including Marian McDonnell and Dr. Irene Connolly from the Department of Technology and Psychology in IADT.

​The DISABUSE Project is a 2 year project that is part of the Erasmus Plus Programme, Key Action 2 “Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices” involving five partners from four European countries (Anti-Bullying Centre, Dublin City University, Ireland; Fondazione Mondo Digitale, Italy; ICSTE-IUL, Instituto Universitário de Lisboa, Portugal; IADT-The Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Ireland; UM-The University of Murcia, Spain).

Mary Mitchell O'Connor at the launch of DISABUSE
Mary Mitchell O’Connor at the launch of DISABUSE

DISABUSE’s aim is to help prevent and counter disablist bullying by learning from the experiences of those in the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEN/SEND) community, at both child and adult level and the research surrounding them. The goal is to highlight the right kind of supports necessary to empower the community and those that work with them at school and work level. As part of that, the project aims to create an ongoing online support module that will be available to both SEN/SEND learners, and those who seek to educate or work with them.

Marian McDonnell and Dr Irene Connolly from IADT
Marian McDonnell and Dr Irene Connolly from IADT

This module’s objective is to improve socialisation, reduce marginalisation and ease user’s lives in school and their migration into adulthood and the working world, to allow them to enjoy fully rounded lives and contribute more widely to society. It will also support and educate, teachers and trainers in promoting equity, diversity, and inclusion in learning through educational institutions and wider society, via more in-depth understanding and work with SEN/SEND individuals, and the provision of training/educational materials.

The project’s website and resource platform is being designed and developed by Mohammed Cherbatji and Ryan Dowler at IADT.

See disabuse.eu or disabuse.ie for more details.


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Lack of an interdisciplinary approach

Category:Challenges

There is limited published research in the area of designing interfaces for ID and there is a lack of suitable eLearning and mobile applications to evaluate with the actual users. There is a lack of an interdisciplinary approach to the problem area. Psychologists, designers and technologists need to come together in fruitful collaborations to address this important field. By bringing people together to accelerate progress in this area of research with focused intensive support from social entrepreneurship funds, change will happen faster to improve the quality of life and health of those with ID. It is envisaged that some of the proposed networks’ findings could be applied to areas like learning disabilities and other neurodevelopmental disorders.

It is envisaged that the proposed prototype output could be beneficial as an eLearning application, helping to reduce time and cost of paper training for this user group.

 


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More work needs to be done

Category:Challenges

(HCI) and User Experience (UX) draw on a multidisciplinary base of psychology, computing, design, art and increasingly social and organisational fields. As technology becomes increasingly ubiquitous and pervasive, we now experience technology as a fundamental fabric of our social lives. As technology developments today accelerate, there is a need for interface designers to take into account users with intellectual disabilities to order to avoid their exclusion from the information society

Designing ICT tools for people with intellectual disabilities is challenging. Unfortunately, there are a considerably small number of research projects and publications referring to the use of instructional technologies by users with intellectual disability and their exclusion from the information society. More work needs to be done in this area. International conferences like the International Conference on Computers Helping People with Special Needs (Miesenberger et al, 2014) show a growing interest in the topic. However, the number of researches with a focus on designing and developing suitable applications for people with intellectual disabilities remains low in comparison with other, mostly physical, disabilities. This is the main theme, or problem which this innovative project intends to address.

 

Findings from HCI research tell us that artefacts that successfully transform lives and societies are those are designed and iterated with constant reference to people, where the user gives testimony to his/her experience. HCI research often involves the intended users in research and usability studies. However, accessibility to this population can be difficult for researchers.  Sears and Hansa (2011) state that it is difficult to recruit users with disabilities.  The use of non-representative users can lead to inaccurate conclusions about mobile technologies effectiveness. Other issues in HCI research include small number of participants and lack of control groups. Setting up a collaborative network of researchers with a number of local service providers who can provide access to the target users could address some of these issues.

In order to improve quality of life and health for these users, a more targeted interdisciplinary research focus is needed to design and develop applications for this user group. Designing for those with ID can be challenging for several reasons. As mentioned earlier, some research does not include the intended user with an ID and also user testing does not occur. In addition, there is a lack of design principles when developing applications, as “one size does not fit all!”. ID accessibility can call Universal Design into questioning – as it is not possible to design a product for all especially in the broad area of ID (Kennedy, Evans & Thomas, 2010).   Kennedy et al (2010) p. 375 state that “people with intellectual disabilities represent a community frequently left out of discussions about web accessibility, for a number of reasons, not least the complexity of conditions that constitutes an intellectual disability, the lack of standardization in terms of assistive technologies used by these populations, and the fact that the expertise of the individuals driving the accessibility initiatives usually lies in the fields of sensory or physical disability”.


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Quality of life directly affects health

Category:Challenges

ID is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterised by impairments in both intellectual and adaptive functioning (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). The three main areas affected include the conceptual, social and practical domain. In recent years, mobile technologies complete with eLearning applications have become a popular tool in aiding those with ID. These include devices such as the iPod touch, iPad, tablets and smartphones. Mobile technologies can increase quality of life and independence in those with ID (Rodríguez, Strnadová, & Cumming, 2015). Quality of life directly affects the health outcomes for this user group (McCarron, M. et al, 2014)