Not everyone has equal access to adult education: AEMA network aims to change that

aema logoAccessibility to adult education remains impeded by a range of barriers. What is missing to overcome them is a comprehensive approach and “Accessibility Framework” that takes into consideration accessibility from a holistic perspective.

The AEMA Network will work actively to overcome obstacles that hinder people with disability from becoming adult learners. This will be done by implementing an ambitious working programme which takes into consideration both the needs of people with diverse impairments and the situation in adult education provision.

The project will support:

  • People with disabilities to clearly identify adult education providers that have made a commitment towards accessibility and which meet their specific accessibility needs.
  • Adult education providers to assess their level of accessibility, compare their level of achievement with other organisations, obtain the necessary information and support to start an organisational development process to increase their accessibility, and make a visible and recognisable commitment.
  • Experts on accessibility to assess the individual competences needed to support adult education providers to achieve and increase accessibility on different accessibility domains.

Therefore, the Network will improve the frameworks and structures for including learners with special needs.

Main outcomes of the project will be:

  • Accessibility Check Points: information centres that will be established in eight EU countries and support both people with disabilities in finding appropriate training offers and adult education providers in making their services more accessible.
  • Accessibility Quality Badges for Adult Education Providers and Accessibility Competency Badges for experts on Accessibility which will increase the visibility of accessibility practices of institutions and professionals.
  • A one-stop information portal which will be used to communicate news, events and results related to openness in Adult Education, spread good practices on the topic and help to develop sustainable networks (both at national and European levels) that help to move the accessibility agenda forward.

Direct involvement of the target group, the key of the AEMA success

In order to make the project’s activities more effective and concrete, people with disabilities will be involved in all stages of the project and will also contribute to all networking structures to be established.

By increasing the participation of people with disabilities – which is the group with the lowest rate of participation in adult education -the project fulfil one of the wish of European Commission the and is in line with the Council conclusions of 11 May 2010 on the social dimension of education and training [2010/C 135/02] where it was underlined that “expanding access to adult education can create new possibilities for active inclusion and enhanced social participation, especially for the low-skilled, the unemployed, adults with special needs, the elderly, and migrants.”

The AEMA Network is a committed and professional Consortium which consists of 12 organisations from 11 European countries, funded with support from the Grundtvig programme of the European Commission.

Learn more on the project and its outcomes by visiting the brand new website or following the consortium on Facebook and Twitter.

Text: Francesca Operti