Title: TRAIL – Teenagers: the Road with Autism to Independent Living
Running dates: September 2015 – December 2017
Programme: Erasmus+ KA2 – Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices – Strategic Partnerships for adult education
Project number: 2015-1-FR01-KA204-015397
Nowadays autism affects 3.3 million people in the European Union – approximately 1 person out of 150 are diagnosed with this condition in Europe. Specific efforts have been made through autism strategies and initiatives to better enable diagnose and specialized education and therefore improve access to independent living. However the adolescent stage of development and transition to adult life, a critical phase, is inadequately covered and funded.
Concerning these observations, the challenge is to increase our knowledge of European frameworks, identify the focus and needs of concerned stakeholders and to be able to offer innovative tools and methodologies to professionals (education, social) to accompany the transition towards mainstream and independent life. Professionals need to have access to networks and existing practices in regards to training and intervention processes. The TRAIL project will address the needs of these professionals in order to help them to provide enhance services for the transition phase, and therefore ensure teenagers become indirect beneficiaries.
To contribute to the identification and the implementation of best practices for professionals and of intervention frameworks that would allow the support of the adolescence phase and their access to independent living and equality of opportunity. The final objective will be to enable completion and/or recommendations of national or European plans for autism.
- To identify the existing good practices, focusing particularly on what has been established in America and Canada in regards to methods such as professional “toolboxes” but also practices or initiatives existing in Europe – if possible during the duration of the project also study the transfer criteria and opportunities.
- To transfer 2 innovative methods and tools already identified : Interactive theatre and scriptwriting (Sweden – TP TEATERN) to personalize support services and also to establish collaborative solutions between different stakeholders and the teenagers themselves, Mobile units (APAJH38 – Lyon) intervening directly during adolescent stage as a tailor-made support and also adapt the HIPE 4 days-course (TOI Leonardo 2012) which will be completed with specific focus on the transition phase
- To build professional communities and to enrich them via tools such as social WEB in order to sustain collaboration between different stakeholders who seek to work together (researchers, professionals, institutions, decision-makers and financers)
- To define the criteria and indicators that would allow the design of support mechanisms appropriate to the support of the teenagers through to adult life
- To study the intervention or support possibilities (and in which form) of the institutional systems or financers to make deployment of innovative actions possible, within the partnership countries.
What is expected from the project:
- To provide tools and methods to professionals to enable them to provide appropriate interventions to avoid escalation of potential problems socially and emotionally. To promote wellbeing and healthy choices through a person centred approach with an understanding of the potential difficulties this phase of development can cause for teenagers with autism.
- To make a comparative survey between the social policies of the Member states in order to identify best practice.
- To create a platform for exchanges between networks, professionals , researchers and even the young adults themselves by using the social webs and ITC based tools
- To develop innovative tools, methods, initiatives, projects, courses in order to offer resources to the professionals
- To identify which of these resources could be suitable and relevant
The consortium is a majority of previous partners from the successful HIPE project. PAPILLONS BLANCS de Dunkerque – SAMO (France) the promoter is an association offering specialized support with the for people with a broad spectrum of conditions and more recently with young adults with autism – REGIONAL DIRECTORATE FROM THESSALY (Greece) will support teenagers through the transition from school to independent life as they work in close partnership with families and other associations – FORO TECNICO DE FORMACION (Spain) a national certified training center for vocational training – PASSEPORT EUROPE (France) was the coordinator of HIPE4ASD and responsible for the valorization process – NATIONAL AUTISTIC SOCIETY (UK) is experienced in the field of autism and will link with some existing activities and projects around autism and will provide expertise of high added-value – TP-TEATERN (Sweden) and APAJH38 (France) as expert institutions which will transfer their expertise.
As social webs and on-line activities are key tools for the TRAIL project, InterMedi@KT (Greece) joined the team because of its extensive experience and competence to support and sustain the communities’ work. The team also has a wealth of experience in ICT tools which will be of great added-value for valorization.
The French National project officer Guillaume BLANCO and other essential influencers and decision makers in the field, will help the TRAIL project to provide models of best practices to professionals who support young adults with autism to lead an independent life with enhanced opportunities to enable them to lead the life they choose.