On 15th- 16th November 2022 Hi-Ability project partners, the European Association of Service providers for Persons with Disabilities (EASPD), CONTROVENTO Onlus, Trekkify, EPIONI, Healthy Life Academy, held their 4th transnational project meeting in Brussels in Belgium. During this meeting, the project partners discussed the end of the project itself and other project-related activities along with a financial overview of the project. The also did a study visit to the sheltered workshop called “La ferme nos pilifs” where they could learn more about social inclusion and employment of PWD. They also brought to the forefront the policy recommendations and transferability guidelines that were made available in the beginning of November 2022.
These 2 documents represent the key documents supporting the exploitation and sustainability of the results of the Hi-ability project and, together with the Toolkit developed previously, can be considered as the first step towards the elaboration of a methodology of social inclusion of people with cognitive disabilities through hiking and outdoor learning.
In terms of structure, the policy recommendations consist of the main challenges that PWID face when it comes to outdoor learning activities, the national recommendations based on experience from project partners, as well as EU recommendations in order to combat the previously mentioned challenges. In addition, the transferability guidelines are there to implement the Hi-Ability model on a European scale by providing the challenges, transferability recommendations as well as the monitoring and evaluation steps.
In addition to these documents, the Hi-Ability App was also launched in the second half of the project timeline and it is there to provide information about the accessible environmental paths in the 3 partner countries. The purpose of the app is to stimulate the participation of adults with cognitive disabilities in outdoor activities, promoting accessibility through technological tools while bringing them closer to outdoor activities. With features like accessible trails mapped by partners; parts of trail information in an accessible language; geofencing; standard post-hike feedback system, “Easy to read” language and in combination with the use of images and pictograms the Hi-Ability App is a comprehensive and accessible tool that is essential when it comes to outdoor activities for PWID. It is available on both Android and iOS operating systems.
In the last months of the project the partners organised a couple of multiplier events, one of which was dedicated to the launch of the previously mentioned Hi-Ability App. Two of the events took place in Italy, in Catania and Aula Verde Altolina respectively. Three in Croatia in the cities of Koprivnica,Čakovec and Medulin and last but not least one in Greece at the Ionia Cultural Center in Voula.
The Hi-Ability project is set to finish at the end of November however all project partners agreed during their meeting in Brussels that they will ensure that the outputs produced during the project will be kept relevant for years to come. All the previously mentioned outputs can be found on our website Home – Hi-Ability.