Report from the 12th University on Youth and Development: DiFability enriching Eurogamers vocabulary and inclusion praxis!
Have you ever heard of the word “difability”? If not, then you are incredibly lucky to be reading this article as you will be hearing quite a lot of this new YEUish phrase after the training course “Eurogaming2010: NFE in Action – increasing inclusiveness in volunteering and youth work”! The 3rd training course of the 2-year project “Eurogaming2010” was organized within the framework of the University on Youth and Development (UYD) in Mollina,Spain between the 18th-28th of September 2011 involving participants and team from Portugal, Spain, Belgium, Cyprus, the UK and Italy.
During the 10-day training course participants had a chance to discover identity as a concept with the elements that form it, and then were able to explore the diverse and different identites that we have as individuals and see how these differences are reflected in our lives. Participants were also introduced to the process of learning to learn and discovered what non-formal education is and how it works. They familiarized with different methodologies in non-formal education (NFE) and explored the connection between NFE and social inclusion while using the “Eurogames” booklet.
After discussing and understanding the issue of the social exclusion of people with disabilities and thinking about ways to reverse the situation, the group came up with a new word: DIFABILITY! Difability emphasizes the fact that disabilities are actually different abilities, different ways and perspectives of doing the same thing, so we don’t see them as obstacles but rather as “abilities”.
After a group discussion on the issue of inclusion, participants designed their own sessions with different non-formal education activities to include young people with difabilities in youth work. This way, they had an opportunity to further explore how NFE methods work and how they can adapt activities for different groups in order to organize succesful and inclusive NFE actions. Participants also got to know the basics of sign language and how to use it in communication.
Following that, participants prepared recommendations to YEU and the MOs on how to promote the inclusion and participation of young people with difabilities in their organisations. The “Eurogaming” participants intend to present these recommendations in next General Assembly of YEU based on the key principle of making the projects accessible to all people, while organizing and adapting educational programmes to integrate and meet the differences and needs of each individual.
Besides the Eurogaming training course, participants had a chance to take part in the ongoing joint activities of the UYD which gave them a great opportunity to get to know other youth organisations from all around the world and share experiences and best practices. And, of course, more friendships, more fun and more activities that everyone enjoyed together within University on Youth and Development! By using this common space, participants made a flashmob to raise awareness about the inclusion of difabilities where YEU presented the “Eurogames” booklet and contacted the organisations of the UYD that were interested in using it in their work.
After the ten exhausting days of the training, we now have highly motivated participants who are ready and willing to use “Eurogames” and act for the inclusion of their local youth. And we can not wait to hear about their local actions soon!
Reporter for Mollina TC Eurogaming2010