The AEMA Network, funded with the support of the Grundtvig programme of the European Commission, aims to increase the accessibility, participation, transparency and quality of adult education in Europe. In its activities, the network involves people with disabilities, accessibility experts, disability organisations, governmental organisations, funding bodies and adult education providers.
In the first phase of the project, the AEMA partners organised focus groups and undertook a desk research to establish current standards and guidelines regarding the accessibility of adult education providers in European countries.
Furthermore, a Competency Catalogue for Experts on Accessibility was prepared, based on desk researches and functional analysis of interviews with experts on accessibility in the partner countries.
‘AEMA suite’ helps to evaluate the accessibility
The AEMA Network is currently in the process of testing the first half of the AEMA suite, which provides a series of indicators related to the level of accessibility of adult education providers.
In this first stage it is important to get the AEMA suite assessed and validated in terms of usability and validity on the content by the stakeholders in eight European countries (Austria, Sweden, Spain, Slovenia, Czech Republic, United Kingdom, Bulgaria and Hungary) which were involved in the tool development process.
However, as the matrices can be used for many different purposes, they will be soon adapted to serve experts and adult education providers from all over Europe. Indeed, the AEMA suite can be used:
- As a quick guide relative to the key areas related to accessibility in adult education providers;
- As a tool to review and improve practices related to accessibility in adult education providers;
- As an instrument to plan the development of key areas in your organisation to improve accessibility;
- As a source of information to design policies, internal to an organisation, sectoral, regional or national, regarding the accessibility of adult education providers.
Upcoming: a digital platform on accessibility
The second stage in the work with the AEMA suite involves a transfer of the material into a digital platform, easy to access via the network website by the different stakeholders – not only in Europe but also in the rest of the world.
The AEMA network is looking forward to presenting the digital platform in order to provide experts, stakeholders and Adult Education providers with the possibility to assess and improve their work for and with people with disabilities.
Text: Tord Hansson (AEMA network)Photos: Faruk Ateş