Autism-Europe, along with eight partners (universities, schools, autism professionals and NGOs) is involved in the Autism Spectrum Disorder-Empowering and Supporting Teachers (ASD-EAST) project, which aims at empowering specialist educators in Croatia, FYR of Macedonia and Poland to support effective inclusion of children on the autism spectrum in education.
Running from September 2018 to August 2020, the project is funded by the European Commission’s Erasmus + Programme. It will provide teachers from Poland, Croatia and the FYR of Macedonia with skills, knowledge, strategies and locally-appropriate training.
On 24-25 September 2018, partners took part in the kickoff meeting of the project hosted by the Pedagogical University of Krakow in Poland..
Different issues such as the initiative’s main objectives, the modalities of the programme development, dissemination and coordination aspects were addressed during this two-day meeting. At this stage, partners are undertaking a mapping activity to identify good practices as well as country-specific and EU-wide strengths, challenges, barriers and opportunities concerning educator training, prior to the development of the curriculum and programme materials.
Project coordinator from the University of Northampton (UK) Prof. David Preece said: “This project arose out of our previous ESIPP Erasmus+ project, where we developed training for parents in south-east Europe. In our evaluation, it became clear that there was also a great need for training for professionals. It is a pleasure to be continuing to work with Croatian and Macedonian colleagues, and we look forward to developing our relationship with our Polish partners”.
ASD-EAST partners will meet again on January 2019 in Northampton, UK. The project foresees six transnational meetings over its two-years lifespan.