Partner Updates

Karisma is working on finding digital technology solutions for youth with identified and unidentified learning differences in Fresno, a small town in the coffee region of Colombia. Through projects such as “Fresno Posible” and “Real Campestre”, the project is working with school teachers as well as with teenagers with learning differences to identify their learning needs and to identify and develop the technology that can support those needs.

Karisma is also working in Medellin with Platohedro, a community house supporting children, teenagers and young people in order to keep them away from violence by building strong relations with the community. Projects include the development of a creative platform to promote art experimentation, knowledge sharing, and technology appropriation, as well as work with La Jaquer EsCool, an open hacker space. Through the SJRK project Karisma is working to co-create resources with these youth to support their individual learning needs in these environments.

TakingITGlobal (TIG) is developing a Guide to Action for the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). The Guide to Action on the SDG will build on TIG's 7 existing Guides to Action, with a specific focus on inclusive design principles. The SJRK team will work with TIG to support the development of Inclusive Design content. It will be published in accessible PDF format.

TIG is also leading an Indigenous Digital Storytelling Initiative, which will provide youth in 10 Indigenous communities with the opportunity to develop and/or capture digital content about their communities, history, and culture to be shared online through TIG's upcoming “Whose Land?” app. Youth who are out of school and out of work will be the target audience, and they will receive mentorship and training from TIG staff on the use of equipment.

Fundación Universitaria Tecnológico Comfenalco (FUTCO)
FUTCO is working with youth movements in the city of Cartagena, Colombia who are addressing critical social problems with youth. The work includes the development of digital tools to support the participation of youth with learning difference in the following areas:

  • entrepreneurship formation for the creation of eco-tourist companies with Afro-descendant youth in La Boquilla and Tierra Bomba,
  • increasing the impact of the activities of Guardia Ambiental (Environmental Guardians) in environmental care,
  • entrepreneurship formation for the creation of labour market opportunities with young women in early pregnancies,
  • supporting cultural youth movements (modern dance, popular dance, arts) in making their work more visible in the city,
  • developing best practices to organize youth movements in the city and maintain youth networks including the district youth council and youth leadership school.

Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM)
Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM) provides online educational programs that allow youth and adults to return to school. A major benefit of these programs is that they can be completed at home on a personalised schedule that allows students to keep their jobs while going to school. ITESM works with companies to sponsor their online high school program; sponsoring companies provide internet access, computers and other incentives for youth. However, in many cases students are unable to complete online courses because they are not provided with the necessary training in digital literacy and/or they experience other barriers to learning. A lack of equipment and infrastructure and geographical isolation introduce additional challenges. ITESM is working with the SJRK project to source and develop online resources to meet the needs of students, and particularly those with learning differences, in order to support their access to online education.

SMARTlab/ Inclusive Design Research Centre of Ireland at UCD
SMARTlab/ Inclusive Design Research Centre of Ireland at UCD is targeting young people with learning differences in environments outside of formal education systems in Rwanda, in order to understand the interactions among young people with learning differences, aspects of their day to day life, and their participation in society including education and youth organisations. Through informal interviews and questionnaires, data is being gathered from both young people with learning differences and the organisations that work with them.

This work will help to understand the level of application or use of inclusive design methods in youth organisation programs and decision making processes. Knowledge of how young people understand and define learning difference is also being gathered through this process. The questionnaires will also guide the preparation of co-design workshops aimed at developing and gathering digital resources to support the unique learning needs of youth with learning differences in Rwanda.

Inclusive Design Research Centre (IDRC)
The IDRC has been working on the development of a digital storytelling tool that will provide a forum for the gathering and sharing of stories created by youth with learning differences and others involved in social justice action. This tool will allow for creative, multi-modal story authoring and storytelling, including language translation options. Through feedback collected during the story gathering process the tool will be co-designed with the youth that use it. In addition, the IDRC is investigating and documenting infrastructure and approaches for supporting the storytelling tool and similar projects in environments with low bandwidth, intermittent or unreliable internet, or local-only networks using distributed databases and version control systems such as Git.

The IDRC is also supporting the work of the project partners, including the co-design of the SJRK platform. For youth with identified and unidentified learning differences, the platform will provide a hub for inclusive learning resources and will utilise inclusive design supports to remove barriers to participation.