“Dis-Act” will enhance the inclusive potential of Theatre as an instrument of opening opportunities and dispelling prejudice against people with disability through the production of quality educational offer for operators and disabled adults themselves in Devised Theater.
The project lasts a total 24 months and involves 6 partners from Germany, Bulgaria, Italy, Estonia and Romania. It is coordinated by the German organization NGO Nest Berlin.
Dis-Act is addressed to an audience of direct targets (disabled adults aged 35-55 coming from disadvantaged urban and rural communities and Educators/Trainers providing or interested in providing support to their social inclusion) and indirect targets (Adult education institutions, NGOs, cultural businesses and associations, Arts centers/groups, Organizations of disabled people, Organizations/public agencies providing services for disabled people).
The European Disability Strategy (2010) sets the overall objective of empowering people with disability with a view to enabling their full participation in society on a footing of parity with the non disabled, also by positive action aimed at eliminating all kinds of discrimination against disabled people.
Among the stumbling blocks mentioned by the strategy are persisting discrimination, low access to education and employment in the labor market and income inequalities/poverty affecting the disabled disproportional than the rest of the population due to root causes of lower participation in education and employment.
At the European level, only 48,7% of persons with disabilities are employed compared with 72,5% of the non disabled. For the 20-64 component of the disabled population, the EU unemployment rate is 19,6% against a total unemployment of 12,7% for the average adult targets. At the European level, 41.2% of persons aged 30-34 have completed a tertiary or equivalent education against a 29,7% pertance among the corresponding age-band of the disabled population. The Report “The European Comparative Data on Europe 2020 & People with Disabilities” (2017) released by the Center for Social and Economic Policy, notices that disability increases the risk of poverty and social exclusion in all EU Member States.
In addition to the skills/qualification-related barriers hampering socio-educational inclusion of the disabled, visible and hidden forms of social stigma surrounding disability, and particularly its cognitive dimension, add up to the wider challenge through reinforcing sentiments of exclusion, apathy, discouragement and refrain from engagement- be it educational, social, recreational or occupational- acting as drivers of self-feeding circles of exclusion for the disabled.
Dis-Act deploys an intervention on the skills-related and emotional dimension of disabled people’s plight through exploiting the educational, integration and creative dimension of Devised Theater. Devised Theater is conceived as an original approach to the theatrical production entailing a peer process of cooperation between a group of co-creators in the achievement of a final artistic product. The a-hierarchical nature of the co-creation process is designed to give each individual voice a determining role over the final outcome of the process, thereby ensuring the full ownership of the creative process by each individual co-creator.
Through the production of a quality educational offer fostering the capacities of adult operators and institutions in employing Devised Theater as an instrument of empowerment of disabled adults in the context of co-creation programmes engaging them in peer-interaction with adults not affected by disability, Dis-Act will therefore set the grounds for the development of soft/transversal skills and competences of creative expression in the disabled, while at the same time breaking stereotypes and the internalized as well as external emotional barriers hampering the full inclusion of disabled adults in society.
Dis-Act will deliver on the following results in the 24 months of the cooperation:
1- Identification of needs and barriers faced by disabled adults in Devised Theater and mapping of existing good practices through a transnational research.
2- Format targeted at adult education operators and institutions for the development of their capacities in employing Devised Theater as the cornerstone of a customized educational offer for the empowerment of disabled adults through co-creation and peer-interaction with the non disabled in Devised Theater.
3- Manual providing guidance and methodological support to operators in the implementation of co-creation programmes in Devised Theater targeted at disabled adults.
4- Web Platform integrating multilingual E-Modules for the professional development of operators in the field.