Resize Text

+A A -A

Change Colors

You are here

"Unlocking Freedom through Adult Education" project aims to support the de-institutionalisation of people with disabilities

"Unlocking Freedom through Adult Education" is a three-year project due to finish in 2018, funded by Erasmus Plus.
The central objective of the project is to support the de-institutionalisation of people with disabilities across Europe through adult and community education.

The project, led by EASPD Member Disability Federation of Ireland, and includes two universities and four EASPDs members and disability service providers from across Ireland, France, Bulgaria and Finland. The target group of this project are people with intellectual disabilities living in institutions or who are in a transitional phase within the community.

Partners have come together to design innovative training methodologies and practices to support people with disabilities, family members around key skills of Independent Living, Healthy Living, and Transitional Training. Furthermore, the project addresses the training needs of staff of local adult education centres and local government structures supporting people with disabilities in local communities. 

Resources developed through this project are openly available and can be accessed by clicking here. 

Resources include the following:

  • Training Needs Assessment Methodologies around independent living and transition training to support successful re-integration in the community and citizen engagement.
  • Manual of Independent Living Skills.
  • “This is How I Manage” - person centred tool of describing support needs.
  • Training for people with disabilities and training designing and delivered by people with disabilities with established tutors to facilitate peer learning and strengthen the expert voice of people with disabilities in community settings including local government and adult education centres.
  • Transition Training delivered in Local Adult Education Centres.
  • Initial development of a curriculum on supporting successful transition of people with intellectual disabilities into the community to be used by educators to be more inclusive in their delivery of training in mainstream adult education centres and community facilities.
  • Methodology and Practices of Nutritional Support within a context of Independent Living.
  • Research De-Institutionalisation inside institutions.
  • Policy analysis of partner experience and recommendations with regard to adult education for people with disabilities in a community setting within the context of De-Institutionalisation in Europe.
  • Specific multiplier events, learning teacher training activities, seminars and conferences designed to disseminate the learnings of the project.


Each of these materials have been used to roll out innovative training across Ireland, Bulgaria and Finland (with further project activities pending in France):

  • Training of people with disabilities in transition and those living in the community to support their independent living skills has been co-designed and developed between partners in Bulgaria, Ireland and Finland.
  • Training for people with disabilities to deliver training. This innovative training co-designed and delivered in Bulgaria and Ireland and Finland approach has allowed for a co-facilitative style of delivery between established tutors and people with disabilities themselves (those who have previously received training) to deliver peer learning, input into course design and facilitate courses from start to finish. (See results here)
  • Transition Training delivered in Local Adult Education Centres - held in Finland this training takes the project a step further into the community, targeting staff including adult educators and local government to be supported to understand and respond to the needs of people with disabilities who have been institutionalised in society or are at a stage of transition.
  • 2 day continuous professional development training for tutors working with students with intellectual disabilities. As part of the curriculum design for further education centres, this 2 day workshop was piloted by Maynooth University and again, designed and co-facilitated by both people with disabilities and tutors jointly.

Project Partners:

  1. Disability Federation of Ireland (DFI)
  2. Stewarts Care Limited
  3. Maynooth University
  4. University of Paris-Est Creteil (UPEC)
  5. Centre de la Gabrielle
  6. The Service Foundation for People with an Intellectual Disability
  7. Institute for Community-based Social Services Foundation (ICSS)

Further information contact Cathy McGrath on / 00 353 (0) 86 3847440.