A smile is a positive piece of information we receive through nonverbal communication, but for a person with visual impairment it represents a lost piece of information in human interactions. Professionals in six partner organisations from different parts of Europe all working in the field of education for children and young people with visual impairment, believe that social skills represent the key competences having an important impact on the behaviour, selfesteem and acceptance in society of the ultimate target group, being children and young people with visual impairment.
The process of developing social competences for children and young people with visual impairment deserves a special attention. Due to loss of sight it differs considerably from the one their sighted peers undergo.
The focus of the project is on empowering the whole system with and around the child. We, professionals, need strong partners and allies and we have found them in parents/guardians of children and young people with visual impairment and in teachers and other professionals in mainstream schools/inclusive education settings.
The main outputs of the project are two training programmes specifically designed, one for the parents/guardians and the other for teachers and other professionals in inclusive education settings with modules appropriate to the age and other circumstances, e.g. teachers in boarding schools. Materials with guidelines and videos with practical advice to support our presentations will be produced. In the future these two training programmes will become part of the improved service partner organisations offer to support inclusive forms of education.
The SMILE too project is a follow up to the SMILE project in the Erasmus+ School Education Personnel Mobility Program (KA1). SMILE stands for: “Social skills Make Inclusive Life Easier”.