THE IDEA BRIEFLY: Change people's mind on disability through interactive technology!
Around 10% of the world's population live with a disability, however, we never get to see them. Why?
SKEP is a Greek NGO that implements Disability Awareness Programs within school hours, aiming to change attitudes towards diversity.
They are designed to:
a/ Give students a better understanding of the challenges people with disabilities face every day.
b/ Bring together youth (with and without disabilities) who rarely have the opportunity to connect, through interactive activities.
Attitudes do not change in one day, nor by one person. It is essential to implement extensive, systematic and frequent Interactive Disability Awareness Programs.
We do our best to be efficient and present wherever we are needed most, but we can't be everywhere!
We have found an alternative tool of communication to reach a wider public on a larger geographical scale, in order to break stereotypes and change people's minds towards diversity.
Acquiring the BeamPro Robot is the perfect solution!
The Beam is provided by Awabot, a leading French company on the “Smart” Presence market.
Combining a high-end audio and video system with freedom of movement, it allows us to reach inaccessible regions and schools, thus enabling youth, with & without disabilities, to meet and interact as if they were all together and present.
THE PROJECT IN DETAILS
Discrimination is a deeply rooted belief. Our society is characterized by stereotypes and prejudice regarding diversity. Ignorance, apathy and the lack of everyday contact are the main reasons behind the negative attitudes concerning disability. Current EU research in the field, states that the absence of awareness programs and educational campaigns for students result in:
- Perpetuating stereotypes and prejudices
- Enhancing discrimination and exclusion
SKEP - Association of Social Responsibility for Children and Youth is a nonprofit organization established in 2008, in Athens.
Since then, our one and only mission has been to “include the excluded”.
WHAT WE DO! We awaken the general population - especially the youth - by deconstructing stereotypes of prejudice and reshape their attitudes towards disability.
OUR METHODOLOGY: We apply experiential learning as our method, through systematic educational programs of familiarization with diversity. Our programs combine 2 main axes:
. Education: Raising awareness through "Open Dialogues" in schools with our motivational speakers who are young people with disability.
. Interaction: Personal contact and collaboration of youth with & without disabilities through our artistic and athletic workshops "Fingerprints".
WHERE? Our educational programs are mostly implemented in primary and secondary schools.
Our Disability Awareness Programs are designed to give students a better understanding of the challenges people with a disability face every day. They focus on the interactive cooperation between youth with & without disabilities. We aim to create a new communication code that builds relationships of understanding, respect and acceptance. Most importantly, we enjoy being together! We listen, we discuss, we draw, we play sports...we laugh, we agree to disagree...we get to know each other!
Genuine feelings become the most successful recipe for a life stance of tolerance and inclusion, without restrictions and “limited” perceptions.
We encourage students to focus on the person rather than the disability!
All our programs are free of charge. They are mainly implemented by people with disabilities and are approved by the Ministry of Education.
OUR MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKERS
OUR PROGRAMS AT A GLANCE
Our interactive workshops always take place at the Vorres Museum, Mondays through Fridays, 9.30/12.30.
THE VORRES MUSEUM AT A GLANCE
SKEP IN NUMBERS
From 2008 until today, we have:
- Conducted 4 activities per school week
- Collaborated with 414 schools and social institutions
- Brought together over 31.000 youth with & without disabilities
To Include the Excluded...we must first Connect the Disconnected!
We need to bring together young people who rarely have the opportunity to connect and interact. We need to defeat the lack of accessibility, the distance, the stereotypes and prejudice. We need to make the invisible ...visible!
We do our best to be efficient and be present wherever we are needed. But...the truth is that we can't be everywhere. We have two main issues to overcome:
· Lack of accessibility due to geographical reasons. Just to give you an example, Greece counts 227 inhabited islands (in a total of more than 3.000). A considerable number of these are completely isolated in the winter, leaving their students with no access to educational or cultural activities.
· Lack of accessibility in schools for people with disabilities:
- Most of them are excluded from the educational system, as their peers are not prepared to embrace diversity and teachers are seldom qualified to handle integration.
- A majority of schools do not provide accessible housing to students with disabilities.
So, we must have an alternative tool to reach a wider audience in a larger geographical scale.
What if new technological innovations could enable us to do just that?
What if we could be present and mobile in two places at the same time?
BeamPro is provided by Awabot, a leading French company on the Smart Presence market.
The skeptics will say, "so it's mobile, but why is it better than conventional video conferencing?"
Well, because videoconferencing is used for a specific framework, which is static by default. Combining mobility with high definition audio and image, BeamPro becomes more than just a cold screen.
It re-humanizes distances, allowing one to visit a previously unreachable place because of distance or disability issues.
So..if we could be present and mobile in two places at the same time, that would allow us to:
a/ Connect with excluded students who:
- do not participate in school programs due to challenging circumstances (illness or lack of accessibility of the school itself)
- are within the school context but are isolated because of distance (inaccessible small villages and islands)
b/ Connect our motivational speakers (who have motor or sensory disability) to inaccessible schools, both inside & outside Athens