During last week’s Bournemouth University Festival of Learning, the team (Dr. Carrie Hodges, Faculty of Media and Communication; Wendy Cutts and Dr Lee-Ann Fenge, Faculty of Health and Social Science) held a pilot session for a new e-learning tool which they have developed in collaboration with young people from the Seen but Seldom Heard project.
This e-learning tool has been developed with funding from the Big Lottery Fund, and builds on previous work which has used participatory performative research methodologies, including performance poetry to enable young people with disabilities (aged 14-20 years) to explore the nature of disability within society and their own experiences of being disabled. The previous outputs from this project have included live performances as part of the Cultural Olympiad 2012, local literary festivals, a performance at the House of Commons in December 2014, as well as a documentary film (CLICK HERE for a ‘taster’).
The e-learning tool aims to develop understanding of the needs and experiences of young people with disabilities, in particular, amongst their peers, schools and communities. It includes information and engaging activities, and has been made in collaboration with young people from the Seen but Seldom Heard project. Media representations of disability are largely negative due to the limited number of stereotypes used and these stereotypes contribute to the ‘invisibility’ of disabled people within society. This tool hopes to challenge this ‘invisibility’ by encouraging people to think differently about aspects of discrimination linked to disability. It is hoped that this will be used widely in educational settings, as well as in the wider community to change hearts and minds. It will facilitate learning either as a stand-alone tool, or as part of a wider approach towards diversity and inclusivity.
The pilot session for the tool was helpful in terms of gaining feedback on how it could be further refined, before it is officially launched during the Autumn 2015. CLICK HERE for more details on the Seen But Seldom Heard project