Outputs from a Bournemouth University research project which challenges perceptions of disability through poetry and performance have been rolled out nationwide as part of an online education resource platform supported by the Disability Action Alliance.
‘Seen But Seldom Heard’ is a project that offers ‘voice’ to young disabled people and encourages them to share their stories and experiences creatively. . Running for over three years, the project was recently showcased in Parliament. Most recently, the team has developed an e-learning tool with a grant from the Big Lottery fund, accessible via http://www.seenbutseldomheard.co.uk
The tool is being rolled out as a part of a nationwide online resource bank supported by the Disability Action Alliance and launched on November 20th as part of International Children’s Day, aiming to provide fun, engaging and interactive educational learning tools for use in schools to raise greater awareness of disability amongst children and young people.
One of the lead researchers on the ‘Seen But Seldom Heard’ project, Dr Caroline Hodges, has been part of the Disability Action Alliance 'Raising Disability Awareness amongst Children' (RDAAC) project group since Summer 2014. She said, “The Seen But Seldom Heard e-learning tool is a culmination of the excellent educational and awareness-raising work produced from collaborative research with the local community. Having the tool incorporated into a nationwide online resource bank that teachers, teacher trainers, and teaching assistants can use to promote disability awareness will enable us to have far wider reach and potential impact.”
The interactive e-learning tool incorporates filmed interviews with young poets who participated in the ‘Seen But Seldom Heard’ project who talk about their everyday experiences of disability, as well as links to poetry produced as part of the project.
The BU researchers urge others to make the most of the e-learning toolkit too, saying, “Whilst primarily aimed at schools, many of the resources could also be used by organisations and clubs that work with children and young people on a regular basis. The ‘Seen but Seldom Heard’ e-learning tool can be used in secondary schools, colleges and youth work settings to explore issues related to disability, discrimination and inclusion. It can also be used for teacher training.”
“We are now working with community partners and other BU academics to develop further phases of the work focused specifically on experiences of ‘emerging adulthood’. This new project will commence in the Spring 2016.”
If you are interested in being involved or to find out more please contact Dr Caroline Hodges at [email protected].
To access the nationwide resource bank, or for more information, visit http://disabilityactionalliance.org.uk/daa-publication-of-teacher-resources-on-universal-childrens-day/.