The Erasmus+ project “Digital Inclusive Tool” (Digitool) collaboratively designed to train teachers from regular and special education to support autistic students learning with information and communication tools (ICT). Autism-Europe joined six partners from four different countries: Inovar Autismo (project coordinator, Portugal), Autismo Sevilla (Spain), Diversamente (Italy), ISCTE University Institute of Lisbon (Portugal), InterMediaKT (Greece) and CRID – Polytechnic Institute of Leiria (Portugal). AE’s dissemination activities included a presentation of the project results in the European Parliament.
During and after the COVID-19 pandemic, we all realised the impact of isolation and society had to learn how to deal with it, but it was especially tough for people with disabilities. Many autistic students who had to follow lessons online struggled with a lack of accessible ICT. The DiGiTool project emerged as a result of this observation.
After the remote kick-off in 2021, the COVID-19 situation allowed for an on-site learning, teaching, training activity in September 2021 at the Polytechnic University of Leiria. Further meetings in Sardinia and Seville followed in 2022. Meanwhile, Inovar Autismo, Autismo Sevilla and Diversamente developed and successfully piloted trainings for teachers upon consultation from autistic people and their families. InterMediaKT then developed a toolkit in the form of a web app with ICT resources for teachers (to use in the classroom), autistic students, their families and peers.
Find the web app here (available in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian).
All other partners targeted the national or regional level in their dissemination activities and events. Autism-Europe invited project partners to present the outcome of the DiGiTool project at the European Parliament in Brussels in May 2023 as part of a conference entitled “Building Inclusive Education and Employment for autistic people” hosted by MEP Chiara Gemma (ECR, Italy). The presentation was kick started by Autism-Europe’s autistic board member Adam Harris, founder and CEO of Irish autism charity AsIam by sharing his own lived experience in education as an autistic person. Adam made a compelling call for training teachers in autism.
More about the Erasmus+ Programme
Erasmus+ is the EU’s programme to support education, training, youth and sport in Europe. It has an estimated budget of €26.2 billion. The 2021-2027 programme places a strong focus on social inclusion, the green and digital transitions, and promoting young people’s participation in democratic life.