Program information – the dry facts:
Cooperation to promote innovation and exchange good practices
The main objective of the project: innovation
Contract Number: 2018-1-DE02-KA204-005122
Project title: European Peer Counselor Training in Accessible Tourism
Short name: Peer-AcT
Duration: 01.11.2018 – 31.08.2021 34 months
History of what we started:
Regulations such as the objectives of European lifelong learning programmes, the UN Convention on the protection of the rights of people with disabilities, or the EU Disability Strategy 2020 allow for a more equal participation of persons with special educational needs in adult education activities, in which they themselves may even participate as educators.
The EU Disability Strategy requires accessibility of tourist offers and destinations and the possibility of accessible travel in general. Unfortunately in most tourist destinations only a few facilities are barrier-free, there is no barrier-free entire service chain, and only a small number of tourism employees have the right awareness and skills for inclusive tourism. In addition, only a few people with disabilities participate in existing training programmes. Progress has been made in some European countries and destinations, but this is not enough to meet the requirements of the UN Convention and European accessible tourism strategies.
The key to implementing the above-mentioned strategies is the much better quality TRAINING of decision-makers and employees. The main principle in social inclusion is that persons with disabilities should participate as experts in their own interests in all relevant topics, activities and processes.
Therefore, the project had two main target groups in training activities:
1. on the one hand, people with disabilities as peer-to-peer advisors,
2. on the other hand, employees of central decision-makers, private and public institutions and companies in the tourism and leisure industries.
Six partners from Germany, Hungary, Italy, Spain and Croatia have developed and implemented an innovative methodology for training of people with disabilities as adult educators on accessible tourism.
The main activities were:
- Developing a methodology for peer counseling in accessible tourism. In English, the shorter version is available in all partner countries.
- Development of a counseling and training methodology and a curriculum for the training of peer counselors. Available in English and 5 partner countries. We held a total of 11 courses during the project with 59 participants.
- Establishment of 5 regional training centres, developing a methodology in English and in the languages of the 5 partner countries. 6 training sessions were held by Peer-AcT trainers for tourism experts.
- Develop a training course for professionals interested in accessible tourism. Available in English and 5 partner countries. We have 5 pilot courses.
- Develop an E-learning course with tutorials and 10 self-produced videos. Available in English and 5 partner countries via Moodle app. Through the Laya Platform it is available in subtitles, sign language and easy-to-understand language. This is supported by a manual in English and German.
- Development of a marketing and project implementation summary manual. Available in English and 5 partner countries.
What have we achieved?
– We have trained a total of 63 people with disabilities in the five partner countries to become Peer-AcT consultants.
– 46 Peer-AcT trainers and tourism experts have received training in accessible tourism in the Training centres
– 41 representatives in the tourism sector participated in inclusive and accessible tourism Peer-AcT courses.
– We held 7 multiplier events for people with disabilities with 68 participants, 5 multiplier events for tourism experts with 85 participants,
– We held 6 international meetings and study tours
– we held an intermediate conference in Hungary/Orfű and a final conference in Bossolasco, Italy
– We sent out 6 newsletters and created a project brochure in English and 5 partner countries
The innovation offered by the project (because that’s always the point):
– On the one hand, the involvement of people with disabilities as experts at all levels of the project with the aim of training them as accessible tourism trainers. In doing so, we are making a claim that they should be involved in the UN convention’s affairs concerning them on their own behalf.
– The second innovation is the formation of a mixed group of disabled experts and tourism experts, who together cover the necessary knowledge to be used in the training and development of accessible tourism.
– We provide a free methodology for peer-to-peer counselling and mentoring in accessible tourism, and we provide 3 inclusive training courses with manuals, E-learning opportunities for people with disabilities and for able bodied people.
The results of the project have been continuously widely published: for NGOs, regional and national authorities, European agencies and networks, through our website, social media, newsletters and the press.
The project partners held public workshops for stakeholders at their locations and organized two conferences to inform them about the results and activities of the project.
The most important long-term effects of the project are:
– strengthening the equal participation of people with disabilities as peer experts and adult educators
– raising awareness, skills and knowledge of decision-makers, tourism and leisure workers, and strengthening their new way of thinking
– facilitating the european cooperation and exchange of experience between peer experts
– increasing accessibility to tourist destinations
– start creating so-called barrier-free service chains
Partners in the project:
Verein zur sozialen und beruflichen Integration e.V. – Germany
KOPF, HAND und FUSS gemeinnützige Gesellschaft für Bildung mbH – Germany
Consorzio Turistico Langhe Monferrato Roero – Italy
Unione Montana Alta Langa – Italy
Udruga za kreativni razvoj Slap – Croatia
Asociación para el Estudio y Promoción del Bienestar Social – Spain
Zöld-Aktív Szociális Szövetkezet – Hungary
Pécsi Tudományegyetem – Hungary
People First Egyesület Pécs – Hungary
Sustainability of the project:
63 trained Peer-AcT trainers will continue to use their competencies as adult trainers on a main or part-time role, enabling them to develop their own personalities as persons with disabilities. They can also find new occupations, such as employment in Erfurt in the advice project on inclusive housing, in Pécs in the Hidden City accessible city tour as a tour guide, or in the InnClusive Community Space as a barrier-free tourism peer-advisor, or in Bossolasco employment in the city tourist office.
Through guidelines and marketing plans published in the Peer-AcT handbook, Peer-AcT partners and followers can set up local training centers, hold personal and E-learning courses for people with disabilities and tourism professionals on accessible tourism.
You can find us, the People First Association, in our InnClusive Community Space, where our trained Peer-AcT consultants regularly provide advice on accessible tourism every month.
You can read more about the InnClusive Community Space here: https://peoplefirst.hu/en/befogado/
You can reach us here: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can find everything on the Peer-AcT project website: http://peeract.eu/