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The SIDE project was co-funded with support of the European Union under the ERASMUS+ YOUTH programme. It was a 24-month project which started in March 2017 and ended in February 2019.

The project’s aim was to develop a blended model for learning based on sign languages, visual languages and arts for the acquisition of basic, transversal and professional competences by deaf youth to support their transition from education to work.

Acknowledging the difficulties of deaf youth in accessing training and job positions and in order to improve their employment prospects, educational and vocational programmes which are accessible and build on the talents of deaf people are needed. The choice of visual languages/arts as a method of learning stems from the specific talents that deaf people have in nonverbal creativity and from the importance of sight in their perception of reality.

In this context, the project focused on elaborating and piloting a model for blended learning addressed to deaf youth including “real” non-formal training activities (outdoor training, coaching, Impro-theatre) and virtual training activities based on professional didactic modules developed through videos and sign language in a virtual learning environment.

The achievement of the SIDE project aims and objectives was ensured through the implementation of the following activities:

  • A survey among deaf youth aged 16 to 30 to develop a better understanding of the motivations and barriers they find in accessing training and employment, so as to highlight the main competences that need to be developed in the blended learning model.
  • Training for project staff addressed to the professionals who subsequently worked in implementing the SIDE model and became tutors for deaf youth providing training and guidance in relation to job opportunities based on a blended learning approach.
  • The development of the SIDE Blended learning model for the piloting of curricula based on the integration of formal learning, ICT and non-formal learning as means for the social and working inclusion of deaf youth.
  • A national workshop addressed to deaf youth and reference stakeholders during which the results of SIDE piloting were presented, explaining the advantages of using the model for Deaf youth.

The activities were implemented by six partner organisations in four countries (Austria, Cyprus, Italy and Slovakia).

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