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Context: Compared to only a decade ago the way people access, absorb and elaborate information has totally changed, with new media emerging on the scene, such as online journals, websites and social media.
The use of online media has grown rapidly and new services and communication tools, such as blogs, video stream and social media have emerged. Young people, including young adults with disabilities, are more affected: overall in Europe 97% of young people (including young adults between 18 and 24) use internet at least one a week [Eurostat, 2017]. Young people generally possess a wider range of ICT skills, but not so much is known on the way how these new media represent diversity, in particular disability and disabled adult people, on the effect this representation (often stigmatisation) has on people with and without disabilities and on the way young people with disabilities participate in social media and the barriers they encounter (Ref. UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities).
The studies at national level provides quite common situation overview in all partner countries – the main image of the disabled people is formed by the professional journalists and media, while the potential of disabled people to represent themselves in media is not revealed. Digital media skills have direct relation to young adults with disabilities better social inclusion and capacity to tackle discrimination, segregation and cyberbullying while representing themselves on media.
Participants: The learning community that will implement the project will be composed of a heterogeneous group of 80 young adults with disabilities, researchers, educators, teachers and parents of people with disability from 4 different countries (LT, IT, AT, PT).
The methodology the consortium will apply will be based on co-creation of the educational setting and collaborative and individual work in Training Labs settings based on media analysis and media production, with digital skills acquisition during the learning by doing process. To ensure the correspondence with the target group needs, the project will follow participatory design principles, where the target group people will be involved in the process from the very beginning.
To have contributed to the enhanced digital media skills of young adults with disabilities and to a more realistic representation of disability in social media.
To have strengthened the capacity of significant educating adult educators.
The short term impact will be at national level on adults with disabilities, adult educators, media professionals and policymakers being more aware of the complexity of social media education and the need for appropriate resources to cater for needs. The long term impact relates to more people with disabilities using social media for entertainment, socializing with their peers, self advocacy and for a fairer representation of diversity in society.