By Francesca Maltagliati
A project aimed to develop and test new training and education methodologies based on non-verbal communication, in adult education with social inclusion purposes.
“I’m Giulia. Nice to meet you! I’m 19. I live in Buggiano. I go to school at the Sismondi Senior High. I’m going to tell you about my day”. Giulia is a young adult with disabilities and her story is only one of many stories that are the result of the T & D Stories Project. This project is aimed to develop and test new training and education methodologies based on non-verbal communication, in adult education with social inclusion purposes. The word and the verbal language aren’t the only way to communicate. In some cases the word can represent a barrier, especially for people with disabilities or for migrants. For this reason the project has used the theater and the digital storytelling to allow people who have difficulties with verbal language to communicate.
By a theater or a video it’s possible tell a story. Using simple tools as a smartphone or as a puppet it’s possible communicate and express an opinion, a point of view, and tell our story. The theater and the video can become important didactic tools. The project was made possible thanks to an Erasmus Plus grant – Key Action 2 “Cooperation for Innovation and the Exchange of good Practices”, and involved four European Countries: Poland, Italy, Republic of Ireland and Iceland. Starting by the important experience of Artistic Association Teatr Grodzki, project’s proponent and coordinator, the partnership implemented in each country workshops on such methods to communicate. The result is: a work which lasted 2 years (the project will finish by October 2017), during which the participants made about 20 videos or theater workshops with puppets. The people who attended are about 70: migrants, people with disabilities, teachers, trainers, students, returning-migrants. In Italy the participant organization, the Fondazione Nazionale Carlo Collodi, has involved the Sismondi Senior High School, particularly the students with disabilities, like Giulia, who could find a new way to tell their story, their life. It was a new experience in the field of education of young adult with disabilities, an experience made possible thanks to Europe and it will be repeat and extend. During the project’s meeting a group of representatives of the partners entered in the school and this has allowed Europe to get closer to the students. In Iceland, thanks the puppets theater some refugee women began to speak without language. By video, music, pictures, puppets it’s possible say more than by the word, and bring people closer together. For more information about the project there is a YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsPO51zgCtYJ6WDchbV-6Bw/videos and a web site: http://artescommunity.eu/storytelling/.