The project ISOLearn (Innovation and Social Learning for Higher Education Institutions) has recently been recognized as a good practice by the Erasmus+ program with a score that greatly honours our University.
The project was coordinated by Universidade Aberta and counted with the participation of different Portuguese and foreign strategic partners:
- Associação dos Cegos e Amblíopes de Portugal – ACAPO, Portugal
- Associação Portuguesa de Surdos – APS, Portugal
- Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian – FCG, Portugal
- Effebi Finance & Banking Organisation & HR Development Association, Italy
- Università Telematica Internazionale Uninettuno (UTIU), Italy
- Folkuniversitetet, Stiftelsen kursverksambeten vid Uppsala universitet (FU-Uppsala), Sweden
- Univerza V Ljubljani (UL), Slovenia
The evaluators considered the project has exceeded the proposed goals and that it constitutes an important and innovative contribution to enhance the current knowledge on the inclusion of people with disabilities in higher education in Europe, able to be replicated in other countries and institutions. Furthermore, they emphasized its importance and ability to work with the target populations, by listening to and involving the main stakeholders in the results obtained.
The ISOLearn project has been designed to support and facilitate the accessibility to Higher Education Institutions (HEI) offer and programs for both hearing and visually-impaired citizens of the participating countries through the development of specific ICT instruments and tools, as well as developing and monitoring the compliance with the ISOLearn quality standard. Moreover it has developed and tested the ISOLearn Quality Label for measuring the compliance with the ISOLearn quality standards.
Thus, ISOLearn was able to address several needs of the specific target groups:
- Enhance higher opportunity for tertiary education; acquiring more specialized skills and competencies contributes to increase their employability and quality of life;
- Develop socially inclusive ICT-based learning offer; the aim is to design and deliver education and training programmes that can be accessed by a wide range of beneficiaries, including hearing and visually impaired individuals;
- Raise awareness on the need to enhance and value individual capacities especially from hearing and visually impaired citizens.
Among the main outputs of this project the following studies have to be pointed out: i) Desk Research; ii) Needs and Gaps Analysis (includes a special version for Portugal entitled “Estudo sobre o Ensino Superior para pessoas com deficiência visual e auditiva”); iii) ICT-based Social Learning Handbook, in which are presented the main methods and techniques to promote the inclusion of people with Visual and Hearing Learning in higher education in the European Union; and iv) ISOLearn Quality Standard – Assessment Methodology, a study on the methodology for evaluating and promoting inclusion in higher education.