32,000 users accessed eduaccess.ro for learning resources adapted to children with special educational needs • Fundația Vodafone România - e normal sa facem bine

32,000 users accessed eduaccess.ro for learning resources adapted to children with special educational needs

Bucharest, March 21st, 2022 The FDP – Protagonists in Education Association, together with the Centre for Educational Resources and Support of Bucharest (CMBRAE) announces that the www.eduacces.ro platform, launched with the aim of helping teachers adapt learning to the specific needs of children with special educational needs (SEN), recorded over 32,000 users in the 10 months since becoming available. The creation of the eduaccess.ro platform was financed by the Vodafone Romania Foundation with a budget of RON 240,000, through the strategic program “Connecting for Good”, and was developed by FDP – Protagonists in Education Association, with the support of Code for Romania, within the Civic Labs program.

Since its launch, over 1,500 worksheets and materials, tests, lesson plans, scientific papers, research reports and textbooks were uploaded to the platform, which were later downloaded almost 229,000 times. The platform also offers over 100 interactive games, created using the Jamboard app, which allow children to interact by touch with the learning subject, to write with their fingers on the screen, to manipulate tokens, make associations etc. The games and activities proposed cover various development areas, from cognitive stimulation to psychomotor skills and emotional development.

Moreover, the platform provides access to educational videos which present the main characteristics of specific learning disabilities (SLD), information which helps early screening, by parents or teachers, of pupils who may be affected, information about educational and therapeutical support services for children/pupils with SEN, but also about the main types of social services available for these pupils, such as psycho-pedagogical assistance, speech therapy, evaluation and school orientation/reorientation. The videos have the role of informing teachers from mass schooling about the characteristics of these types of disabilities and the way they affect learning. Also, there is a presentation of the procedures elaborated by the Ministry of Education and Research for organizing the National Evaluation and Baccalaureate Exam for pupils with visual or hearing impairments, as well as for those with neurodevelopmental disorders.

Over 1,700 education professionals have contributed to the growth of the EduacCES community, who created accounts on the platform to share their experience and offer adapted learning opportunities for children with SEN. The platform managed to reach thousands of people across the country and to promote the social inclusion of children with special educational needs (SEN), over 7,000 users joining the communities on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

EduacCES offers:

  • a center for adapted digital resources (worksheets, textbooks, research, lesson plans, interactive games organized by diagnosis and grade);
  • a space which encourages the exchange of experience and the development of an inclusive community of education professionals;
  • online support provided by EduacCES specialists (psychologists, psychopedagogues, psychotherapists, etc.) to teachers who face challenges at class;
  • materials available in Romanian, English, Hungarian and German, to ensure nationwide coverage also for children with learning disabilities who belong to minority groups.

In Romania, there are over 75,000 pupils with special educational needs (SEN), around 55,000 of them being in mass schooling. The educational system, public or private, is not however ready to ensure equal access to education for all children, because the number of school counsellors and speech therapists in schools is too low, which reduces the time and attention allocated to each child, and because many teachers do not feel well-prepared to ensure the school and social inclusion of children with SEN (see source here). In this context, providing adapted educational resources has become a pressing need for teachers and specialists, in the attempt to include children with special educational needs.

The Vodafone Romania Foundation is a Romanian nongovernmental charitable organization, established in 1998, which operates separately and independently from the company’s business. Over more than 20 years of activity, the Vodafone Romania Foundation has funded 1,168 programs run by 745 NGOs throughout the country. The projects had over 3 million beneficiaries – children, young people, elderly, physically, socially or economically disadvantaged people. So far, Vodafone Romania Foundation invested EUR 31 million in projects conducted by partner non-profit organizations. More details about the Foundation’s programmes can be found on www.fundatia-vodafone.ro, http://jurnaldebine.fundatia-vodafone.ro/and www.facebook.com/fundatiavodafone.

Established over 25 years ago, the mission of the FDP-Protagonists in Education Association is that of promoting the human dignity of the most disadvantaged people in our communities, starting from each person’s experience and involving them as true protagonists of their own lives. According to the FDP vision, each person can make the most of the talents which they have been given. FDP intervenes in an integrated manner at community level with three key objectives: preventing school dropout for children from disadvantaged backgrounds, reducing the risk of exclusion for families from disadvantaged backgrounds, facilitating access to medical and healthcare services to beneficiaries.

The Centre for Educational Resources and Support of Bucharest (CMBRAE) is an adjacent unit to secondary education which develops services such as: psycho-pedagogical assistance, speech therapy, psycho-educational evaluation, school and professional orientation for children, students and young people, parents or legal representatives of the children, staff working in schools or other institutions in the educational field.

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