STELLA - Staff's European Lifelong Learning Academy

After completing the EU-funded ELLA project with great success, the IB Behindertenhilfe has received further funding from the EU-Programme Erasmus+ for the project: „STELLA - Staff's European Lifelong Learning Academy“

The project started in November 2017 and it will last two years. Partners from ten different countries form a strategic partnership, cooperating for innovation in the action’s prioritized fields social inclusion, diversity and staff’s education. The participating partners are organisations in Germany, Poland, Italy, Greece, the United Kingdom, Sweden, France, Lithuania, the Netherlands and Turkey. The organisations will work on developing methods of work with persons with disabilities in such fields as: Organizational skills, Social behavior, Team ability, Analytical thinking, Communication skills, Technical skills. The persons with disabilities are invited to take an active part in this project as experts. The final product will be a handbook for Understanding and Improving the Fundamental Competences of People with Disabilities.


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Kick-Off-Meeting in Oberursel

In November 2017 all partners in STELLA have met in Oberursel for the Kick-Off-Meeting. The first day was dedicated to discussing the general agenda of the project, to work out strategy plans for evaluation, dissemination and quality assurance. In the evening, we had the Board Meeting and General Assembly of Caravan 2000 International.
The second day was destined for the working groups for the single chapters of the STELLA handbook. Below you can find the overview of the chapters.
November 9 ended with a speech of Mr Leikauf in memory of the “Reichspogromnacht” about Euthanasia in Hadamar and a common walk to the Oberursel Victims Memorial, where all participants of the conference lightened candles and laid flowers.

The STELLA working team from The Netherlands

Chapters - skills that we are working on:

C1 Organizational skills. Partners: IB/Germany, Papillons Blancs de Lille/France, Kara Bobowski/Italy, ESTIA/Greece.

C2 Social behavior. Partners: Spastic Children's Foundation of Turkey/Turkey, Jaunuoliu dienos centras/Lithuania, Holding Kindercentra de Roef BV/Netherlands.

C3 Team ability. Partners: Papillons Blancs de Lille/France, Jaunuoliu dienos centras/Lithuania, Holding Kindercentra de Roef BV/Netherlands.

C4 Analytical thinking. Partners: Sensus Stockholm-Gotland/Sweden, Papillons Blancs de Lille/France, Spastic Children's Foundation of Turkey/Turkey.

C5 Communication skills. Partners: ESTIA/Greece, North West Play Resource Centre/United Kingdom, PSONI Kolo w Gdansku/Poland.

C6 Technical skills. Partners: North West Play Resource Centre/United Kingdom, PSONI Kolo w Gdansku/Poland, Cooperativa sociale Kara Bobowski/Italy.

Some insights from the current work of the partners:

Christiane Lensch, IB/Germany (Organizational skills): The plan worked out is that PWD (a person with a disability) is empowered to carry out the organization of an event, which is normally organized for him. As a first step, this could be a birthday party as a smaller event. In a second step, the organization of a workshop, where PWD teach other PWD to produce pompons, mosaic, origami etc. and also provide food and drinks for this event is the target.
The skills needed to match all the necessary preconditions for the organization of such an event are:
•             Commitment
•             Punctuality
•             Communication
•             Patience
•             Reliability
•             Team ability
•             IT-Knowledge
The methods used by the team shall be group discussion/ brainstorming, visualization of steps/activities and workgroup (photos of participants) and role plays/interviews. A timetable and checklist were worked out and the dates for the next meetings and goals to be achieved according to the deadlines in the project were determined.

Max Beer, The Playhouse (Communication skills and Technical skills): We will be working with Lilliput Theatre Company (who are a group of adults with learning difficulties) to record two songs which they wrote last year, in partnership with our music tutor. We will also produce a video for the two songs, working in partnership with a film-maker, and a cover for the CD / DVD working in partnership with an art tutor.
We will work with our local Health Authority – Western Health & Social Care Trust – to assess how involvement in these arts activities can impact on the learning disabled clients’ technical and communication skills. Tasks are undertaken by the learning disabled clients will include singing, acting, the design of art-work, and agreeing on ideas for storyboarding the two videos, choosing filming locations, costumes, characters etc.     
The results should be available to be presented at the STELLA meeting to Athens, April 18-21.

Lina Trebiene, Jaunuoliu dienos centras/Lithuania (Social behavior and Team abilities): We focused on social behavior at work. We defined the STELLA team, the leaders and the methods:
-Talents and limits;
-Skills list;
-Experimental learning;
-Role play;
-Visual presentations.

As an example, we made the Christmas card to improve our social skills and to find the best way to say Merry Christmas to our e-friends.

Marita Jonols, Sensus Stockholm-Gotland/Sweden (Analytical thinking): Our chapter is about how staff can support persons with disabilities to develop and practice critical thinking and moving towards an equal and mutual dialogue. In easy English: When people with disabilities learn to be critical, to take place and say their own opinion - they can criticize their staff. And, in that way, we will be better staff!
The chapter consists of three complementing parts: A Theoretical background (Turkey), A Tool Kit (France), A hands-on - way to Critical Thinking (Sweden).
At Medis5 we had a discussion and asked our participants to write about:
-What to think about when you are going to be critical about something or someone?
-How to do an evaluation in your team?
-How to be a good leader?
We have also talked about the countries that are involved in the STELLA project. Participants have collected flags and discussed what is their association when they think about them (for instance: Italy - pizza).

Tommy Papp, ESTIA/Greece (Communication skills): In this chapter, we are three partners from three countries: Northern Ireland, Poland and Greece. We are going to use the method learning by doing (What I do, I understand).
The fields we want to cover is employment, community living, social life, schools, how to communicate. We aim to strengthen the skills in self-presentation, self-expression, comprehension skills - listening and understanding of what you heard. Skills in using and "reading" body language, non-verbal and verbal communication.
The methods we will use in this partner cooperation are role play and theatre. Experience of being a journalist and making interviews, group work in self-advocacy groups with the aim of informing mainstream groups.

Regis Alvin, Les Papillons Blancs de Lille/France, Jaunuoliu dienos centras/Lithuania, Holding Kindercentra de Roef BV/Netherlands (Team ability): During the Kick off meeting in November in Oberursel, the partners had a workshop to explore what are team abilities, what skills are supposed to work together, what methods could we use to deal with these competences and we planned a timetable to reach our first goal, gathering and sharing methods and experimentation in order to select the best practices for the next transnational meeting in Athens. During December Lithuania, Netherlands and France have composed a target group in each country with staff and PWDs. The methods will be group discussion, skills list, roleplay and interviews.

This is a plan of the main events within STELLA:
  • Kick-Off-Meeting in Oberursel | Germany - 08. - 10.11.2017
  • Transnational Meeting Athens | Greece -  18. - 21.04.2018
  • Transnational Meeting Istanbul | Turkey - 04. - 07.12.2018
  • Final Transnational Meeting in Panevėžys | Lithuania - September 2019
  • Multiplier Events - Springtime 2019
STELLA Team wish you a beautiful and peaceful Christmas time

Happy to share our news with you!

Erasmus+, EPALE and other official accounts of European offices and public bodies are already following our online activities. Our funding project owner (the German National Agency) also featured our project on their twitter page. Please help us to spread the news about our project. Follow our media channels: STELLA-project on Facebook
WelcometoSTELLA on Instagram and Twitter

Copyright © 2017 STELLA, All rights reserved.

STELLA – Staff’s European Lifelong Learning Academy // 2017-1-DE02-KA204-004167

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