Project Update-March 2018

“The role of adult education in supporting the de-institutionalisation of people with disabilities in the community.”

Project Objective:

The central objective of the project

  1. To reduce disparities in learning outcomes affecting disadvantaged learners by supporting people to participate in non-formal high quality educational opportunities built around their needs.
  2. To improve and extend high quality learning opportunities by tailoring educational programmes across partner countries, to the needs of individual learner, using innovative  methodologies, including outreach, and train the trainer model.
  3. To develop the competences of adult educators, in particular, staff from institutions or disability service providers and the adult community educators themselves.

Project Consortium:

The project spans four European countries (Ireland, Finland, France, Bulgaria) and in total there are seven partners including DFI. Three are from Ireland, two from France, one from Finland and one from Bulgaria:

  1. Disability Federation of Ireland (Lead)-Ireland
  2. Stewards Care Ltd.-Ireland
  3. Maynooth University.– Ireland
  4. Centre de la Gabrielle (CLG)– France
  5. Université Paris-Est Créteil (UPEC)– France
  6. Service Foundation for People with an Intellectual Disability (KVPS) – Finland.
  7. Institution for Community Based Social Services Foundation (ICSS) – Bulgaria

Project Results to Date 2015-2016

Basic training needs and assessment methodology for people with a disability (Translated from Bulgarian to English) tested with 25 learners (13 in Bulgaria and 12 in Ireland).   

Easy Read Document Developed on Information on the Erasmus Project and Consent Form.

Checklist for Independent Living Skills.

Adult Education courses sourced in the community with 8 participants from Stewart’s care participating in courses in the community and 6 service users attended courses in the community in ICSS.

Development of simplified dietary habits questionnaire and physical activity and sedentary levels assessment.

A learner centred training programme and manual to enhance basic independent living skills of people with intellectual disabilities transitioning to community living according to their needs and interests.

Manual used in partner countries of Bulgaria and Ireland to train people with disabilities in transition / living in the community to support their independent living skills and to provide training for people with disabilities to deliver training to 10 learners (4 in Bulgaria and 6 in Ireland).

One Day Seminar on Nutrition and Mental Disability – how to foster Autonomy (November 2017, France).

Project Results to Date 2015-2017

  • Transition training course to people with Intellectual disability and Transition course to family members, staff and municipality staff delivered in Finland using materials developed in Bulgaria and Ireland (ICSS and Stewarts Care)
  • Transitional Training Course delivered to Local Adult Education Centres in Finland using materials developed by Maynooth University.
  • Development of a Curriculum on supporting successful transition of people with intellectual disabilities into the community to be used by educators to be more inclusive in their delivery of training in mainstream adult education centres and community facilities.

Project Activity Pending for 2018:

5 day workshop and learning event for staff and participants to focus on healthy living (March 2018, France).

Publication of Research focusing on De-Institutionalisation inside institutions (UPEC).

Publication of policy review of the context of De-Institutionalisation and adult education in partner countries.

One day seminar entitled ‘Living together’ (June 2018, Bulgaria).

Final Conference (Monday 25 June 2018, Ireland)

To purchase tickets to attend the final conference, see the conference event page. For more information, see the conference flyer below.

Adult Education- How we are working in the community

Together Bringing people and organisations together
Talk Giving them the space to talk, listen and understand one another
Set Goal Setting common goals that benefit their community members and themselves
Context Describing local  structures to allow people to understand the opportunities they have to influence changes and the challenges that representation brings
Practice Allow people a safe place to practice participation and get honest feedback from their peers
Support Support them to feedback to their community and to hear the response and further needs being described.
Maintain Maintain their own health and wellbeing in the process and learn from their colleagues and peers.
Co-Produce Focus on the objective of their representation and only use stories to describe a policy issue or anomaly to co-produce a solution.


Our project is contributing to challenging the status quo about best practice models of supporting people to transition into community living.

We are working to achieve inclusion, participation, and equality for everyone.

HOW?  The answer is ‘doing it together’:

Working together with partners, our members and local communities we aspire to co-produce a more inclusive and participative society.

Developing capacity of adults with Intellectual Disability to live independently – and well – in places of their own choosing within the community.

Developing the capacity of Adult educators to work together with Persons with a disability to embrace the mainstream learning in Community Education settings with a new curriculum.

The project is also identifying the need for a ‘defence’ against policy and practice that do not support deinstitutionalisation.

To download this information see the word document below.

Unlocking Freedom Project Update March 2018

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