News

The DISMODE project promoted during the 33rd EURASHE Conference “Stronger Together” – 22-23 May 2024, St. Polten, Austria

On 22 and 23 May 2024, in Sankt Pölten, Austria, the 33rd Annual conference by EURASHE on the theme: “Stronger together: Promoting transnational cooperation” took place. Mr. Andrean Lazarov, the CEO of the Bulgarian Inclusion Support Team was among the key panelists together with Mrs. Sophia Eriksson Waterschoot – the General Director for Youth, Education and Erasmus+ at the European Commission’s Directorate General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture as well as representatives of Šiauliai State UAS, Thomas More UAS, Burgenland UAS, under the moderation of Mr. Michal Karpišek – member of the European Alliance E³UDRES².

Mr. Andrean Lazarov with Mrs. Sophia Eriksson Waterschoot – the General Director for Youth, Education and Erasmus+ at the European Commission’s Directorate General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture

During his speech, Mr. Lazarov presented the advantages of the Erasmus+ programme towards transnational cooperation and gave particular examples with different EU projects, where BIST is involved.

Very successful third international partners meeting in Istanbul, Turkiye – 10-11.04.2024

The third transnational partners’ meeting was held on 10th and 11th of April 2024 in Istanbul, Turkiye. The meeting was hosted by the Turkish partner – World Innovative Sustainable Solutions.

The main focus of the meeting was the finalisation of all project deliverables and the preparation for the piloting phase. In the next 10 months at least 40 youth workers will be trained as disability support moderators.

The partners also discussed the forthcoming participation in international congresses in Alicante and Sevilla. Follow our website for more information shortly.

Dissemination of the project during Final IM-PRO-MENT multiplier event – 20 March 2024, Sofia, Bulgaria

On 20 March, 2024 (Wednesday) in the Great Hall “prof. Asen Zlatarov” of the Federation of Scientific and Technical Unions (FNTS) in the city of Sofia, the final event of the IM-PRO-MENT project was held. The project concept and outcomes are related to realisation of peer mentoring support between advanced students and those with disabilities and special needs. During the event, the DISMODE project was disseminated in the presentations of Mr. Andrean Lazarov (from Bulgarian Inclusive Support Team” Sofia) and Mrs. Figen Sekin (from WINSS – World Innovative Sustainable Solutions, Istanbul, Turkiye). More than 50 people took part in the event, including principals of vocational schools, teachers, pedagogical counsellors, students (including participants in the pilot phase of the project), as well as representatives of the Union of Bulgarian teachers and academics.

Presentation of the project during X Conferência Ibérica de Inovação na Educação com TIC (ieTIC2024) on 15-16 February 2024 at Câmara de Lobos – Madeira, Portugal

The DISMODE project was presented during X Conferência Ibérica de Inovação na Educação com TIC (ieTIC2024), which was held on 15 and 16 February 2024 at Câmara de Lobos in Madeira, Portugal by its coordinator – Mr. Vitor Gonsalves.

He presented in detail the project results: R1 New functional profile of “Disability support moderator for youth with disabilities”, R2 Training handbook on inclusive education adjustments including guidelines and tips and the draft of R3 Communication module on disability awareness, disability etiquette, communication guidelines, basic use of assistive technologies and sign language.

He gathered feedback from the audience, which mainly represented the school and higher education sectors. Initial exploitation negotiations were established as well.

Online broadcasting from the event is available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JlGEf8m6Jjg

Presentation of the project during VISAGE4JOBS final multiplier event – 15 February 2024 – Sofia, Bulgaria

The DISMODE project was disseminated as part of the VISAGE4JOBS final multiplier event, which was held on 15 February 2024 in Sofia, Bulgaria. The Bulgarian Inclusion Support Team together with WINSS, Turkiye presented the project results so far. 40 representatives of the project’s target groups took part in it, including teachers, psychologists, pedagogical advisors, career consultants, representatives of vocational training centers.

Dissemination of the project by IPB team during IN2COP – International Conference on co-creation processes in Higher education – 30 January – 01 February 2024, Braganca, Portugal

Co-creating Innovation have long been integral to the mission of Instituto Politécnico de Bragança, underpinning their commitment to fostering future-oriented higher education that addresses the complex challenges of the world of work. Within STARS EU, their Strategic Alliance for Regional Transition funded in the European Universities Initiative, they have adopted a pedagogical approach that places significant emphasis on fostering inherent collaboration with external stakeholders from all regions of our nine european partners. This commitment is driven by their understanding that the vitality of higher education institutions, professors, researchers, and students is profoundly intertwined with the benefits derived from these co-creation activities. Furthermore, their vision extends globally, as they proactively aim to facilitate the growth of a knowledge-driven regional economies through robust international cooperation.

In this spirit, the International Conference on Co-Creation Processes in Higher Education (In2CoP) serves as a crucial platform for reflection and the sharing of insights garnered from co-creation ecosystems. This event was designed to inspire and sustain the growth of a multidisciplinary and multicultural learning community, one that is fully equipped to navigate the evolving landscape of higher education and address the intricate challenges posed by the contemporary and the future employment landscape.

During the event, prof. Vitor Gonsalves, the DISMODE project coordinator on behalf of IPB team presented the project, its concept and the first ready results – R1 New functional profile of “Disability support moderator for youth with disabilities” and R2 Training handbook on inclusive education adjustments including guidelines and tips.

Transnational dissemination of the project during INVEST Conference at University of Reims Champagne Ardenne – 23 January 2024, Reims, France

The DISMODE project concept was presented during INVEST conference as part of the INVEST European University Alliance at University of Reims Champagne Ardenne. The event was held on 23 January 2024, at the Aula of the university in Reims, France.

The CEO of the Bulgarian Inclusion Support Team (project conceptor and partner) Mr. Andrean Lazarov was welcomed by the Rector of the University, who is also the Chairman of the University of France – the union of universities in France Prof. Guillaume Gelle.

The head of the “Higher Education” section of the General Directorate “Education, Youth, Sports and Culture” of the EC Mrs. Vanessa Debiais-Sainton addressed the participants via video and congratulated them. She emphasized the great importance of this initiative by presenting the main lines of work.

Chairing the pannel on “Inclusion of people with fewer opportunities and special needs” during Annual Valorisation Conference “Active citizenship in Europe” of the Bulgarian Erasmus+ National Agency – 05.12.2023 – Sofia, Bulgaria

In its role as the National Agency for the European Programs “Erasmus+” and “European Solidarity Corps”, the Human Resources Development Centre organise the Annual Valorisation Conference 2023 on the topic “Active Citizenship in Europe”.

Special guests at the event were Acad. Prof. Nikolay Denkov (Prime Minister of the Republic of Bulgaria), Prof. PhD Galin Tsokov (Minister of Education and Science) and Dr. Vanya Kastreva (Head of Regional Educational Directorate – Sofia).

During this year’s conference, five discussion panels were held, during which the reflection of European values and priorities in the two programs was discussed. Special attention was paid to the topic of inclusion of people with fewer opportunities and special needs and how they are included in the projects, and in this regard, the chair of the panel was our Chief Executive Officer Mrs. Andrean Lazarov, who is also an accredited National consultant in the vocational education and training area. In his summary, he highlighted the exceptional role of the Erasmus+ program in the formation of soft skills, a sense of belonging and the professional and social inclusion of this target group and presented as best practice current initiatives, which are managed with the participation by the Bulgarian Inclusion Support Team. He also disseminated the new functional profile of Disability support moderator, which was highly valued by the audience.

The achievements of the Bulgarian Inclusion Support Team were discussed also with the Minister of Education and Science of Republic of Bulgaria – prof. PhD Galin Tzokov.

Dissemination of the project during the Bulgarian national seminar “From Generation Z to Generation Europass” – 30.11.2023 – 01.12.2023, Sandanski, Bulgaria

The national seminar was organised by the National agency of Erasmus+ in Bulgaria and the Bulgarian National VET team. It was focused on students with special needs and their teachers from vocational high schools in the region within the framework of the “European Year of Skills – 2023”. On behalf of Bulgarian Inclusion Support Team, Mr. Andrean Lazarov (moderator of the event) demonstrated the importance of the Disability support moderators at universities, which may help students with special needs on their transition to higher education or lifelong learning.

Exceptional progress on project development evidenced during the 2nd International partners meeting in Plovdiv, Bulgaria

The project consortium met in the oldest city in Europe – Plovdiv in the period 20-22 November 2023. The host partner was the Bulgarian Inclusion Support Team. Special guest was Prof. PhD Christina Sanchez Romero – Head of Inclusion and Diversity Department of UNED – Spain.

The partners presented positive feedback from the National advisory boards in Portugal, Spain, Bulgaria and Turkiye, who validated the content and structure of Result 1 New functional profile of “Disability support moderator for youth with disabilities”.

The partners discussed and finalised the second project deliverable – Result 2 Training handbook on inclusive education adjustments including guidelines and tips. It will be evaluated by the advisory board members and upon approval it will be translated.

Very intensive work was dedicated also on the development of Result 3 Communication module on disability awareness, disability etiquette, communication guidelines, basic use of assistive technologies and sign language.

Overall, the partnership will be ready to start the pilot implementation phase 4 months earlier than foreseen. More information how to join the pilot trainings will be provided shortly.

Presentation of our project to the consortium of Hack-it project in Granada university

Our project coordinator, prof. Vitor Gonsalves from IPB – Portugal made a presentation of the project to the consortium of Hack-it project in Granada university to 25 academicians from KTU Lithuania, Haga-Helia university of Finland and Granada university, Spain. The event was part of the Training of Trainers – C2 titled: Assessment, smart technologies and Students’ engagement.

Key representation of the partnership as keynote speakers at XVII International congress of the organisations working in the field of education – 08-10 November 2023, Oviedo, Spain

The XVII International congress of the organisations working in the field of education, which was held in the period 08-10 November 2023 in Oviedo, Spain. In the dedicated panel called: “Inclusive education in the 21st century: recent practices and solutions for teachers and students with speacial needs” our project was presented by Paula Vaz and Elza Mesquita from CIEB, IPB – Portugal, prof. Pilat Gutiez Cuevas and prof. Crisalida Rodriguez Serna from AMPAT, Spain and Andrean Lazarov from BIST, Bulgaria. They presented the project concept and  R1 New functional profile of “Disability support moderator” at NGO sector and the recent version of R2 Training handbook on inclusive education adjustments including guidelines and tips. The audience was extremely interested, because the project concept is very relevant to the recent challanges in the higher education in Europe.

The congress was organised by the University of Oviedo and included more than 200 participants from Europe and Latin America (academicians, business representatives, teachers, lecturers, NGO representatives, policy makers). During the first congress day, the team of Bulgarian Inclusion Support Team presented the key outcomes of the project, especially appreciated by the giant name in the didactics of Spain – prof. Antonio Medina Rivilla from UNED | Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia and the key organiser prof. Emilio Álvarez Arregui – President of UNESCO Spain . Possibilities for exploitation of the key project results in Spain and in Latin America were discussed.

Dedicated article about the project, its concept and results was also published with ISBN: 978-84-18482-96-0

More information at: https://www.cioie2023.org/es/programa.php 

Presentation of the project at the INVEST WINTER SCHOOL 2023 – “AN INTRODUCTION TO NATURE-INCLUSIVE AGRICULTURE”

Thanks to the kind invitation of the UARD – Bulgaria, the Bulgarian Inclusion Support Team was invited as keynote speaker at the INVEST WINTER SCHOOL 2023 – “AN INTRODUCTION TO NATURE-INCLUSIVE AGRICULTURE”, which was held in the period 08-15 October 2023 in Heerenveen and Leeuwarden in The Netherlands. Students from bachelor and master degrees from Slovakia, Bulgaria, Greece and Finland took part in the school. Major point of interest for them was the DISMODE initiative towards successful transition from school to higher education and how students with disabilities can be supported.

Our key representation during X CONGRESO ESTADUAL APAES-BAHIA Y IV FÓRUM DE AUTODEFENSORES, I FÓRUM DE FAMILIA: INCLUSAO, DESAFIOS, PERSPECTIVAS E POSIBILIDADES, 11-13 October 2023, Salvador de Bahía (Brasil)

Prof. Paloma Anton Ares from AMPAT, Spain was keynote speaker at the X CONGRESO ESTADUAL APAES-BAHIA Y IV FÓRUM DE AUTODEFENSORES, I FÓRUM DE FAMILIA: INCLUSAO, DESAFIOS, PERSPECTIVAS E POSIBILIDADES. The congress was held in the period 11 – 13 October 2023 at FBH, Salvador de Bahía (Brasil). She presented the BURNPRO Prevention program via digital tool of Burnout syndrome among teachers was presented. Prof. Ares reported on the objectives, purpose and expected results. Possible exploitation of the project results were negotiated.

DISMODE project at the National conference “How the Erasmus+ program helped to improve the skills of teachers to create innovations in Bulgaria” – 04 September 2023, Burgas, Bulgaria

On 04.09.2023, in the city of Burgas, a national conference was held on the topic “How the Erasmus+ program helped to improve the skills of teachers to create innovations in the educational system in Bulgaria”, organized by the Human Resource Development Centre – the Bulgarian Erasmus+ National Agency. During the event, concepts for professional knowledge management, ways to apply micro-training in professional training, as well as the impact of youth activities was demonstrated by different educational institutions and NGOs.

As part of the official agenda of the event, the team of BIST presented the first outcomes from the DISMODE project. The main project results were demonstrated to the participants and several educational centres from Burgas area expressed their wish to join the pilot trainings. During the event, participants also exchanged ideas and shared experience on key issues in the sector.

DISmode international partners’ meeting was held in Bragança, Portugal hosted by the INSTITUTO POLITÉCNICO DE BRAGANÇA

In the period 28 June – 1st July 2023, an international DISmode partners’ meeting was held in Braganca, Portugal.

The wonderful team of the Coordinator of the DISmode project chaired by the prof. Vitor Gonsalves  together with the Mr. Mario Cardoso, Subdirector of ESE welcomed us in the modern technological hub of North Portugal.

During the productive days, we have been able to exchanged expertise and know-how with wonderful experts from Portugal, Spain and Turkey.

The consortium finalised the profile of the Disability support moderators, who will help students with special needs in their transition from schools to the Higher education. The first project deliverables will be demonstrated in November in the International CIOIE Oviedo congress.

Presentation of the project during the IV INTERNATIONAL PEDAGOGICAL CONGRESS ISIMA 2023

Prof. Paloma Anton Ares from AMPAT, Spain was keynote speaker at the IV INTERNATIONAL PEDAGOGICAL CONGRESS ISIMA 2023, which was held on 22, 23 and 24 June 2023 in Mexico. Path towards 2050 “Reimagining Our Futures” was the slogan of the congress with the participation of 150 teachers, academicians and policy makers in the field of education . During the panel “TRENDS IN RESEARCH AND INTERDISCIPLINARY WORK TO PROMOTE EDUCATIONAL INCLUSION” the project was presented. Prof. Ares reported on the objectives, purpose and expected results and pointed out that the Erasmus +KA2 projects are financed by the European Union, in response to detected needs and aimed at improving education, the training of teachers and students as well as promoting cooperation, innovation and the exchange of good practices. Exploitation agreements were negotiated.

Participation and dissemination at EURASHE Annual conference – 8-9 June 2023, Bucharest, Romania

The CEO of the Bulgarian Inclusion Support Team – Mr. Andrean Lazarov was invited to participate together in a Breakout session about the INVEST Fellow programme during the 32nd Annual EURASHE conference. The event took place on 8-9 June 2023 and was hosted by the University POLITEHNICA of Bucharest (UPB). During the event series discussions were held about the inclusive Higher education together with the new EURASHE President, Mr. Hannes Raffaseder, CEO of the St. Pölten University of Applied Science and the Rector of UPB Prof. Mihnea Costoiu. Both of them expressed interest towards the project and it was agreed to invite them for one of the project multiplier events. Currently EURASHE is a partner in the ATHENA project aims to transform the he sector and to offer students education that will include knowledge on accessibility. this will lead to new approaches in various professions to build a more inclusive society. ATHENA partnership is planning to develop a set of recommendations on integrating accessibility and design for all into the HE curricula, we want to make another step forward in promoting equal opportunities, access and social inclusion of people with disabilities. Possible synergies between DISMODE and ATHENA were discussed.

with Mr. Hannes Raffaseder, CEO of the St. Pölten University, EURASHE President with the CEO of Bulgaian Inclusion Support Team – Mr. Andrean Lazarov

with Prof. Mihnea Costoiu, Rector of University POLITEHNICA of Bucharest with the CEO of Bulgarian Inclusion Support Team – Mr. Andrean Lazarov

Our key participation at the panel sessions of the International Knowledge Week on Inclusion, Diversity, Equity & Access, 8-11.05.2023, at Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Erasmus University Rotterdam (a key partner of the Bulgarian Inclusion Support Team) has been working on the fundamental topics of inclusion, diversity, equity and access for more than seven years. Their dedicated and institutionalized IDEA Center now consists of more than 20 specialists that develop and execute our institutional and integral approach on inclusion, diversity, equity and access. The IDEA Center has taken on a pioneering role, nationally and in Europe helping initiate IDEA-structures at universities, disseminating our knowledge and expertise.

During the week, various national and international speakers – including Prof. Lina Gálvez Muñoz (European Parliament), Alfred Herrera (University of California, Los Angeles), Prof. Eveline Crone (Erasmus University Rotterdam – EUR), Fanny Passeport (Education Development Officer at Erasmus X, EUR) & Dr. Dirk Deichmann (Associate Professor, EUR) and our CEO Mr. Andrean Lazarov – together with academicians, researchers, PhD students and disability organisation representing participants shared practical insights and knowledge on topics such as (academic) outreach, student engagement, inclusive education & Universal Design for Learning, inclusive HR, inclusive communication and monitoring & research.

During the panel workshop “Integrating Universal Design for Learning into your course” we have presented the recent development in the field of Universal Design for Learning (UDL). UDL is an approach that allows instructors to proactively design their course content and pedagogical strategies to anticipate a wide range of needs. Rather than seeing students as ‘average’, they are considered as ‘variable’. By acknowledging and welcoming diversity, instructors adopt a pluralistic approach that honors learning differences. When applying UDL, the instructor provides multiple ways of engagement, representation, and action & expression. Concrete examples from EUR applications (and reflections) in a ‘Design Thinking’ course at RSM (in fall 2022) and contributions from the Bulgarian inclusion support team recent and past development were presented. Reference to the recent DISMODE project concept for disability support moderators was presented.

More information and detailed programme is available here: https://www.eur.nl/en/research/information-form-idea-international-knowledge-week/idea-international-knowledge-week-wednesday

Our participation at TRANSVAL-EU European conference in Paris, France

Our team was invited to participate as key speaker during the plenary sessions at the European conference “Transversal Skills for Work and Life: Strengthening Guidance and Validation” which was held between 18-19 April 2023 in Paris, France.

The main aim of the conference was to build bridges between research, policy and practice for guidance and validation of transversal competences in Europe. Both in work settings and in daily life, there is a growing need for individuals to develop high-level competences to address complex challenges. Transversal competences set the foundation for personal development, resilience, the ability to communicate and work constructively with others, problem-solving, and the ability to manage one’s learning and career. Yet transversal competences are not always valued or made visible in guidance and validation processes for disadvantaged learners.

The ongoing TRANSVAL-EU project — co-financed by Erasmus+ KA3 Policy Reform – Policy Experiments coordinated by OeAD, Austrian Agency for Education and Internationalization (Austrian National Agency of Erasmus+ programme) – one of the largest policy experimentations in Europe — aimed to bridge this gap in guidance and assessment in validation of non-formal and informal learning (VNFIL). The TRANSVAL-EU research conference  provided opportunities for researchers to share and discuss state-of-the-art research in the field of validation of non-formal and informal learning (VNFIL) of transversal skills, including in conference panels, workshops, and a networking reception.

Dissemination of the project during youth training on the topic: “Career guidance and presentation of knowledge and skills for success – a step forward to a successful career” – 4-5 April 2023, Plovdiv, Bulgaria

On 04-05/04/2023, our team was invited as key trainers during the training workshop named: “Career guidance and presentation of knowledge and skills for success – a step forward to a successful career”. The event is part of the European year of skills events, organised by the Human resource development centre, Europass Bulgaria, Euroguidance Bulgaria and the National Expert Team on VET in Bulgaria.

The training was opened by Mrs. Antoineta Pakova, head of the Regional educational directorate – city of Plovdiv.  Our team presented the DISMODE concept and advised students on how to ensure their successful transition between the school and higher education.

We shared examples with the participants proving the importance of every young person being aware of their career path at the very first stages of their professional training.

 

Bulgarian Inclusion Support Team at the National Career Days 2023 in Sofia, Bulgaria

The Bulgarian Inclusion Support Team was among the participants at the National Career Days 2023 at the first event, which was held on 1st April 2023 at Grand Hotel “Millennium” Sofia. Students and young people including people with disabilities were able to talk with our key experts in the field of career counselling of young people with disabilities and those with Roma origin. We have demonstrated the concept of our main results from the initiative under Erasmus+ programme.

Successful start of the project

We are happy to announce that the grant agreement was signed on 4th April 2023 between the Vice Rector of INSTITUTO POLITECNICO DE BRAGANCA, Braganca, Portugal prof. PhD Luís Manuel Santos Pais and the Director of the Portuguese National Agency for Youth ( Agência Nacional para a gestão do programa Juventude em Acção) Mr. Luis Alves.