U-Coach!

New skills to empower handicapped (physical and/or mental) people to become more autonomous

Background

About 80 million people living in the EU have a mild to severe disability. The physical or mental obstacles they face, like gaining access to a school or work place, leave them vulnerable to social exclusion. Lower employment and education levels mean that the poverty rate for those with disabilities is 70% higher than the average.

According to the “European Disability Strategy 2010-2020” EU action will support national efforts to remove legal and organisational barriers for people with disabilities to general education and lifelong learning systems; provide timely support for inclusive education and personalised learning, and early identification of special needs; provide adequate training and support for professionals working at all levels of education and report on participation rates and outcomes.

 

Aims and objectives

The overall aim of the U-Coach! project is to support the development of “autonomy” key competence in disabled (M&H) people, equipping VET providers and counselling units with respective methodologies, tools and competences and qualify them as ECVET Caregivers/ Autonomy facilitators in all partners’ countries.

By focusing on the results of two previous projects, “Competence Coach” (CC) and “Pilgrimage” (PiL), as an integrative solution for disabled people, VET providers/counselling units will acquire new knowledge, skills and qualifications to facilitate their beneficiaries’ autonomy and self-directed learning.

The U-Coach! project will also contribute to a second European priority of the Leonardo da Vinci programme, i.e. to improve the transparency and recognition of qualifications, with the design of an European ECVET Caregiver/Autonomy facilitator curriculum, based on EQF learning outcomes, defined in terms of knowledge, skills and competences, and allocation of ECVET points, taking into account European recommendations and the development of a common guideline for its integration in existing national VET programmes.

 

Results

The U-Coach! project is based on two innovative methodologies and tools – “Competence Coach” (CC) and “Pilgrimage” (PiL). CC focused on improving the professional performance of trainers/counsellors/guidance workers by introducing coaching methods and assessment tools, especially on target groups at risk of social exclusion. PiL focused on the acquisition and implementation of autonomous learning skills, rather than traditional methods based on presentation and knowledge transfer, as a better contribution for adult education.

We are sure that the combination of and the double transfer of these two methodologies to our Trainers/ Counsellors/ Caregivers (direct target group of U-Coach! Project) will provide them with skills and competences to facilitate their beneficiaries (disabled people / Mentally & Physically – indirect target group of U-Coach! Project) becoming more autonomous, which is a key point for these people’s rehabilitation and integration. Other outcomes include common guidelines to integrate the ECVET Caregiver/Autonomy facilitator curricula into the national qualification system and further dissemination and valorisation.

EU-Program: Leonardo da Vinci – Transfer of Innovation
Coordination: IEKEP - Institute of Training and Vocational Guidance (Greece)
Contact: Karin Kronika
Duration: October 2013 – September 2015
Website: www.u-coach.info
EU - Partner für lebenslanges Lernen This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.