The Hi-Ability project wants to promote an education for autonomy, independent and inclusive life for adults with intellectual disabilities (ID), in a context still not very accessible such as hiking and eco-tourism.
Hi-Ability puts the natural environment at the centre of the activities, becoming the theatre of an
Original methodological approach of a therapeutic-rehabilitation programme based on the socio-educational value of the natural environment.
Hi-Ability foresees the achievement of four results:
- IO1: Hi-Ability Toolkit for Educators – aimed to provide educators and facilitators who carry out their service with people with intellectual disability the necessary tools and resources to work with target groups and train them to improve their knowledge and skills in environmental education.
- IO2: Hi-Ability App: easy to read app on nature tourism expressly dedicated to
- people with ID and their families, which will promote accessible routes for the target group.
- IO3: Hi-Ability Green Guide: it will contain information related to environmental/naturalistic tourism and accessible hiking and will be dedicated not only to people with DI
- and their families, but also to adult educators working with this specific group of beneficiaries
- IO4: Policy recommendations and guidelines for transferability: it will contain guidelines for the transfer of results and for the replicability of the model in other countries.
During the first five months of the project, from December 2020 to April 2021, project partners have focused on IO1, working on the implementation of the research carried out through documental and field research to identify the elements needed to develop the methodology and training material.
The research phase was indeed the first step to the production of the Hi-Ability Toolkit for educators (IO1).
The Toolkit will be developed in two main phases:
- the research phase (Desk and field research on the empowerment of adult people with mental disability through outdoor education activities – guided tours, hiking etc.
- the development of the methodology and training material.
The partners from Italy, Croatia and Greece conducted the research to identify
relevant methodologies and training contents to be used and adapted in the elaboration of the methodology and content of the Toolkit. Part of the research was based on two focus groups, which focused on the identification of the needs of adults with ID in terms of autonomy and empowerment and involved beneficiaries such as educators, trainers, family members, caregivers and potential stakeholders, in order to obtain complete information. Specifically, 1 focus group involved adults with ID, 1 focus group involved educators, trainers, caregivers and families of adults with ID.
With the support of Trekkify, Controvento (IT), Project Coordinator and IO Leader, collected all the data from the national focus groups and elaborate a Joint Report which represents the first milestone of the Hi-Ability project is available through the project’s website.
The Joint Report investigates into the main findings of the research activities implemented during the first five months of the project, allowing a better understanding of the main target
groups’ training needs (educators, trainers, caregivers and people with Intellectual disability) in relation to the participation in outdoor activities such as hiking and eco-tourism by people with Intellectual disability.
Thus, the document plays a key role in setting up of a consistent and qualified pedagogical and didactic framework for the resulting curriculum and the following intellectual outputs.
The analysis report will lead to the elaboration of the methodology, the definition of the training modules and selection of the learning material.
The Hi-Ability Toolkit for Educators Toolkit will be available in November 2021.