1st phase: Introductory Training – introducing Easy to Read and Multimedia Advocacy methods
The first phase took part in February 2016 at the RIX Centre, University of East London in the UK, with the participation of 12 professionals from Greece, Lithuania and Poland and trainers from RIX/UEL from UK and MTM from Sweden.
We focused on developing basic skills for staff working with people with intellectual disabilities on the ‘Easy to Read’ method (EtR) and the innovative use of ICT and multimedia with people with intellectual disabilities using the ‘Multimedia Advocacy’ (MmA) method.
This Phase included development of training materials for the ‘Easy to Read’ and ‘Multimedia Advocacy’ methods that explored different approaches to making information easy-to-read and understand for people with intellectual disabilities.
Project partners worked together in Workshops led by EtR and MmA specialists. We explored ways to make our teaching and learning techniques more ‘Person Centred’ by engaging our learners actively in co-developing EtR materials, using the new digital tools available on mobile devices. Partners shared their existing work with learners using drama, music, creative arts and crafts and together we explored how digital tools and the EtR to read methods could help develop this work further in the future.
2nd Phase: Research – finding out about the information needs of people with ID
The second phase of the Project was concerned with assessing the needs of people with ID in the partner countries. This involved research to find out what information and guidance on Human Rights was available in Greece, Lithuania and Poland and what awareness people with ID had in these countries about their Human Rights. We evaluated the difficulty they experienced with reading and understand the written information that was available and asked them what information and guidance they found useful and effective.
This research led to the production of a Research Report. The insights we gained then informed our approach to the design of new material in Easy to Read and Understand formats led by the Project’s staff trainees. We were guided on what type of materials to create for our service users by undertaking qualitative research directly with people with ID from our organisations. This fitted the PUZZLE Project’s ethos of actively working with people with ID as much as possible, so that our work would benefit from their views and expertise.
3rd Phase:Digital Media Development – Modeling online and mobile tools for Easy to Understand information
The third phase of the Project involved the design and development of a website platform and a mobile application to disseminate information material in EtR formats alongside training and educational resources to support information work with learners with ID.
This development work established the Resources bank that sits on this Website as well as the PUZZLE App that the Project has produced for use on Android and Apple iOS mobile phones.
4th Phase: Advanced Training – developing new methods for Easy to Understand information work with people with ID
The fourth phase took place in November 2016 in Lithuania with the participation of 12 professionals from Greece, Lithuania and Poland and trainers from RIX/UEL and MTM. This more in-depth training took into consideration the results of the research from the second phase and built on the skills staff trainees had acquired in the first phase. Trainees further developed EtR and Multimedia Advocacy methods for information work with people with ID and created new accessible materials for their service users, relating to civil rights, employment, housing, social integration, education etc.
In this phase we developed our approach to the participation of people with ID around making information accessible. We explored ways to actively engage our learners in co-producing the materials as well as involving them as reviewers and assessors of the quality of the materials produced. This phase led to the development of some exemplary multimedia resources by the trainees from the partner organisations and contributed to the development of PUZZLE’s inclusive and participatory methods for making Easy to Understand information.
5th Phase: International Symposium –sharing and refining our work with expert practitioners and self-advocates
This fifth phase of the project provided the Project PUZZLE team with the opportunity to promote the innovative approaches to information production and educational practice for people with Intellectual Disabilities that we had developed on the Project. This phase took place in Heraklion Crete, Greece in June 2017. Delegates included experienced policy makers and practitioners involved in developing and providing information for people with ID from across European organisations.
Both PUZZLE partners and specialist invitees provided informative presentations to the Symposium. There was a programme of practical workshops and we worked together to draft a 12-point ‘PUZZLE Manifesto’ on ‘How to make Easy to Read materials more Easy to Understand’ (under development)