This project has been funded with support from the European Commission.
This communication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.
About the partnership
Financed from the EU programme for education, training, youth and sport (Erasmus+), EDUCATHE+ (full title: Educational theatre as the place of raising inclusion and empyloability of people with disability is a partnership of eight partners from six EU member states and one partner country who strive together to enhance employment of people with disability (PWD) through use of educational theatre. This method enables us to empower people with disability by developing their Key Competences and, at the same time, to share old and develop new methods, and enhance visibility of people with disability who are usually left on margins of the labour market due to prejudice.
Disability is a social issue that has been addressed significantly by the EU in the recent years but what is lacking still is the notion among employers that being disabled is not being unable to work. As organizations with years of experience in working with and for disabled people, we find that this prejudice persists because of lack of interaction between the disabled and the “non-disabled”.
During our projects (on local and EU level), we have always found that a goal oriented interaction between “non-disabled” and disabled people results in higher levels of mutual understanding, cooperation and even employment and, on the other hand, lower levels of prejudice and subsequent discrimination.
The basic method (“Educational theatre as the place for overcoming discrimination of PWD – EDUCATHE) was developed on that principles in 2008 and it has a profound educational and life altering impact on “non-disabled”, disabled and educators alike. It is an open method that welcomes new input – which is especially important in order to capture the needs of different local communities in the EU. Therefore, this partnership will be used to share methods and enrich them through shared experience of partners, all the while expanding the subject from field of non-formal education to the field of employment. Built on a proven method that allows all partners to include their method, this partnership will give a new dimension and produce an added value of European stature for all those involved in partnership activities – as we will directly involve learners and educators who are disabled and “non-disabled” and indirectly the general public, media and legislators (through our performances) – therefore addressing all stakeholders of this social issue.
In total of 40 days and 8 international educational workshops of performative arts, participants will undergo 112 mobilities (with 31 of those made by PWD); share/innovate practices and develop 8 theatre public-dissemination performances; and raise public awareness of economic discrimination of disabled people – all the while receiving numerous “soft-skills” (described in the EU Key Competences) necessary for raising employability. Performances will be site-specific and held in locations that symbolize connection between the EU and the local country – which will add an additional EU dimension. Our performances will engage the audience and be meeting places where disabled people and the general public can interact and discuss – during and after the performances.
Our performances will be recorded and disseminated here, on our web platform, and all those interested in working with (and for) disabled and using theatre for educational purposes will be able to freely access on-line this knowledge and other materials produced by this partnership: E+ Toolbox, E+ educational video, E+ documentary.
The outputs of our partnership will be built throughout the duration of the project and will include practices, exercises, experiences, interviews and methods that partners will bring
into the project as their own contribution (e.g. their style of education theatre). In that way, partners will create a new mix methodology for working with the disabled, promoting inclusion and employability.
Beside our workshops that will produce public performances and reach the public, we will have three staff meetings to ensure quality project management and, equally important, give this partnership an additional, final media conference after 8 dissemination performances held in towns of partner organizations.
We are proud that this partnership has been built on values of transparent democracy, equality and solidarity which, we feel, is a mirror for what Europe strives for. By combining those principles with theatre workshops – to achieve a goal of overcoming social prejudice and enhancing employability of disabled people (by making their abilities visible and rendering their physical/mental predicament less important in the eye of the employers) – is something we want to encourage other organizations to do. We see this partnership as a basis to build a common future network for organizations who address the needs of the disabled and work in education & culture to improve employability of PWD.
We use this opportunity to invite all interested organizations and individuals who work with, for, or advocate rights of disables persons (and other marginalized groups) to contact and join us during the project and afterwards – when we plan to take a third step and spread the results of EDUCATHE + method across Europe and its adult education system.
Besides here, information about the project is available on formal website of European Commission and Erasmus+ programme -> European Commission and Erasmus+.