Enhanced Tools For Creating Equal Opportunities In Education For Pupils With Disabilities – ATTEND

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ATTEND

Priority task of the Enhanced Tools For Creating Equal Opportunities In Education For Pupils With Disabilities – ATTEND project is to equip the project beneficiaries – Centres for the upbringing and education of students with disabilities in the Republic of Croatia – with assistive technology.

The project objective is to provide high-quality education to students and training to employees of the project beneficiary institutions for using assistive technology. 

Centres for upbringing and education (CUE) are special educational institutions for children with disabilities who are unable to attend regular schools due to the degree of their disability and special educational needs.  

The development of assistive technology for children with disabilities provides more opportunities for better day-to-day routine and achieving better success in education. Digital assistive technology include hardware and special software developed to help people with disabilities.

General objective of the project

Supporting the creation of effective prerequisites that contribute to equal opportunities in education for children with disabilities and better and more successful integration into the society.

Specific objective of the project

Improving the education of children with disabilities by providing access to digital assistive technology, as well as adequate and effective use of these technology in educational activities of children with disabilities.

Duration of the project

Three years (2021 – 2024)

 Project segments

  1. Project management
  2. Equipping the project beneficiary institutions with assistive technology
  3. Training of educational staff in the project beneficiary institutions regarding the use of assistive technology in education and daily work with children with disabilities
  4. Conducting a public awareness-raising campaign about the importance of inclusive education of children with special educational needs while ensuring visibility of the project

Who can participate in the project?

Only those schools and CUE of the Republic of Croatia which expressed their interest and signed an agreement with CARNET on participation in the project “Enhanced Tools for Creating Equal Opportunities in education for Pupils with Disabilities” participate in the project. 

Institutions for upbringing and education

Institutions that met the two criteria below by description and activities were eligible to sign the Participation Agreement:

  • institutions for upbringing and education that implement programmes for the upbringing and education of children with disabilities, but outside the regular system, i.e., without integrating children in regular school classes
  • institutions that implement upbringing and educational programmes with children with disabilities, and not only rehabilitation.

Only the following institutions were eligible to express interest in participating in the project:

Naziv ustanoveGrad
Centre Liče FaragunaLabin
Centre for autismOsijek
Centre for autismZagreb
Centre for autism RijekaRijeka
Centre for autism SplitSplit
Centre for upbringing and education Rijeka
Educational Centre “Slava Raškaj” ZagrebZagreb
Centre for upbringing and education ČakovecČakovec
Center for upbringing and educating children and youth Karlovac
Centre for upbringing and education DubravaZagreb
Centre for upbringing and education GoljakZagreb
Centre for upbringing and education Ivan ŠtarkOsijek
Centre for upbringing and education Juraj BonačiSplit
Centre for upbringing and education Krapinske TopliceKrapinske Toplice
Centre for upbringing and education LugBregana
Centre for upbringing and education Rudolf Steiner DaruvarDaruvar
Centre for upbringing and education Slava RaškajSplit
Centre for upbringing and education ŠubićevacŠibenik
Centre for upbringing and education Tomislav ŠpoljarVaraždin
Centre for upbringing and education Tuškanac- ZagrebZagreb
Centre for upbringing and education Velika GoricaVelika Gorica
Centre for upbringing and education Vinko BekZagreb
Centre for upbringing and education ZajezdaBudinščina
Centre for upbringing, education and rehabilitation KriževciKriževci
Centre for upbringing, education and rehabilitation Podravsko SunceKoprivnica
Centre for upbringing, education and rehabilitation ViroviticaVirovitica
Josip Matoš Elementary school Vukovar
Milan Amruš Elementary school Slavonski Brod
Nad Lipom Elementary school Zagreb
Elementary school at the Polyclinic for the rehabilitation of listening and speech
SUVAG
Zagreb
Voštarnica Elementary schoolZadar
School for upbringing and education PulaPula
Secondary school – Centre for upbringing and educationZagreb
V.O.Š. BjelovarBjelovar

Individual beneficiaries of the project

Direct:

  • educational staff in the project beneficiary institutions, who will use the assistive technology in working with children with disabilities
  • directors of project beneficiary institutions, who will support equipping the institution they run, training their staff and higher quality education of students, supported by assistive technology.

Indirect:

  • students with disabilities – beneficiaries of the project beneficiary institutions, who will use the assistive technology in education, thus creating better opportunities for integration into the education system and the society they live in
  • others: parents, students without disabilities, founders of the project beneficiary institutions (local government) and the general public.

Founders

Cities, counties, and ministries that are the founders of the project beneficiary institutions are crucial project stakeholders.

Support of the founders is important for the daily work of the project beneficiary institutions and for fulfilling obligations arising from the project, as well as ensuring the sustainability of the project results after the project is completed.

Therefore, the founders will have to sign the project participation agreement along with the project beneficiary institutions and CARNET, which will regulate the rights and obligations of all institutions to facilitate achieving the objectives and sustainability of the project.

Founders of the project beneficiary institutions are local and regional authorities responsible for financing the project beneficiary institutions, schools, and CUE that can participate in the project:

Ministry of labour, pension system, family, and social policy

Two Counties:

  • Krapina-Zagorje County
  • Osijek-Baranja County

16 cities:

Bjelovar, Čakovec, Karlovac, Koprivnica, Križevci, Labin, Osijek, Pula, Rijeka, Slavonski Brod, Split, Varaždin, Virovitica, Vukovar, Zadar, Zagreb.

How can an institution be included in the project?

CARNET published a Call for the expression of interest in participating in the project on its web page. Directors of institutions that wished to participate in the project expressed interest by filling out the digital request for inclusion, which can be accessed via the following link: 

The process of including institutions in the project ended by signing the tripartite project participation agreement between CARNET, the educational institution and its founder. The Agreement is signed by authorised digital signature.

What do the institutions gain from the project?

All institutions participating in the project will be equipped with digital assistive equipment for education and work with beneficiaries of the institution – children with disabilities.

Training and networking will be provided to educational staff and directors of the project beneficiary institutions through a series of workshops, online activities and gatherings aimed at sharing knowledge and experience, which will be the basis for future projects and cooperation between the participating institutions.

Apart from the equipment, the project beneficiary institutions will receive support from experts from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and the Faculty of Education and Rehabilitation Sciences in using the assistive technology.

Project activities aimed at visibility and promotion of assistive technology will be of use to project beneficiary institutions, as they are committed to raising the level of awareness of all stakeholders and the general public about the challenges in the education system related to creating equal opportunities for children with disabilities and their successful integration to society.  

What are the obligations of the institutions in the project?

All participating institutions substantially benefit from the project in terms of:

  1. new assistive technology equipment for working with children with disabilities
  2. gaining knowledge and developing competencies of their employees
  3. expanding the network of contacts
  4. creating opportunities for new cooperation.

However, to provide children from project beneficiary institutions with effective and high-quality education and ensure the educational staff is using the assistive technology, it is crucial that employees, directors, educators-rehabilitators, and other employees are ready for the use of new technology and new approaches to teaching.

Therefore, it is important that every project beneficiary institution actively participates in the project activities and fulfils the following obligations related to:

  • equipment supplied: storage, daily work maintenance, having a movable property insurance policy for the equipment supplied in the project, and maintenance of the equipment after the expiration of extended warranty for five years after the project is completed
  • education: active participation in educational activities and events organised in the project, live and online
  • cooperation with CARNET and project partners.

Equipment

The project plans equipping project beneficiary institutions with assistive technology and other ICT equipment for use in regular educational or therapeutic activities in the institutions. The equipment will be procured and delivered in several stages. 

Equipment catalogue

The Equipment catalogue will contain the assistive technology available on the market. Project beneficiary institutions will choose the assistive equipment from the catalogue, according to their needs. The type and quantity of the equipment per institution will be defined by the criteria which ensure the maximum effect of the equipping on activities in the institutions.

Equipment delivery

Suppliers will deliver the equipment to the locations of project beneficiary institutions and provide basic information about technical options and functionalities.

Technical support

Throughout the project, a regular warranty and additional insurance will cover the use of equipment. The person appointed by the founder of the project beneficiary institution will organise technical support.

Training

Training

In addition to equipping the project beneficiary institutions with assistive technology, educational staff and directors will be trained in its application in educational work with children.

Training of educational staff will be carried out through workshops organised in project beneficiary institutions, regionally, and online through e-courses and webinars. Training will include topics such as benefits and opportunities of digital assistive technology in education of children with disabilities, but also training on specific application of each type of assistive technology that project beneficiary institutions will receive to work with its beneficiaries.

Exchange of knowledge and experience between practitioners is a relevant factor in successful application of new technology and effective introduction of new methods and forms of teaching in educational work. Therefore, great emphasis will be put on ensuring meetings (live and virtual) of the project beneficiary institutions’ staff who educate the children in project beneficiary institutions, as part of implementing educational activities.

Participating in educational activities

All workshops, e-courses and webinars will be published in CARNET’s education management application – EMA. Employees in project beneficiary institutions will apply for participation in each educational activity through the EMA system by using their electronic identity in the AAI@EduHr system. Project beneficiary institutions will be informed in advance about the educational activities planned for their employees.

Actual educational activities

Follow the information about available educational activities here.

Educational activities will start at the ATTEND conference in May 2022. 

Workshops in project beneficiary institutions will be held at the beginning of June. 

Educational resources

Here you will be able to view and download the educational resources created as part of the project, to educate the employees of user institutions.
Currently, there are no available resources.

Partners

Croatian Academic and Research Network – CARNET is the project beneficiary. The project will be conducted in partnership and cooperation with relevant academic institutions: the Faculty of Education and Rehabilitation Sciences and the Faculty of Electrical Engineering of the University of Zagreb, with assistance and expertise of the partner from Iceland – City of Reykjavik (Department for Education and Youth).

Project financing

Project “Enhanced Tools for Creating Equal Opportunities in education for Pupils with Disabilities” is mostly (85%) financed from the European Economic Area Financial Mechanism and a lesser part (15%) from the state budget.

EEA Financial Mechanism contributes to reducing social and economic inequalities in Europe, and at the same time, strengthens bilateral cooperation between donor countries (Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein) and the beneficiary countries.  The basis for establishing the EEA Financial Mechanism is the 1994 Agreement on the European Economic Area, which enabled Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway to participate in the common European market. The agreement sets a common goal of reducing social and economic inequalities in Europe and strengthening cooperation between European countries.

By joining the European Union, the Republic of Croatia gained the opportunity to join the European Economic Area (EEA). Accession negotiations were completed in April 2014 with the signing of the Agreement on Participation in the EEA, which enabled the Republic of Croatia to use funds from the EEA financial mechanism.

Programme Agreement for the Local Development and Poverty Reduction Programme was signed on September 17, 2020. The predefined project “Enhanced Tools for Creating Equal Opportunities in education for Pupils with Disabilities”, worth Euro 3.5 million, will be implemented within this Programme.

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