We want to enable youngsters with disabilities to overcome any type of social exclusion by creating Mindbook, their first temporary social network.
Our organization is based in Piacenza, a city of about 100.000 people located in Emilia Romagna region (IT).
Our services are addressed to pupils aged 6 – 18 years with special educational needs, learning disabilities and other types of deficiencies. But the center is also the place where pupils’ families meet and find an innovative educational offer. Passionate and engaged professionals develop tailored educational strategies using scientific validated techniques.
TICE incubator, our catalyst tool for supporting the development of innovative social business realities, created since 2013 five social start-ups (located all along the national territory, in Pavia, Parma, Firenze, Crotone, Foggia ) which offer their services to pupils with educational special needs.
In Italy there are 80.000 kids (and their families) aged 13 to 24 years with special educational needs (mental retardation, autism, etc.) who lack individual support and orientation to the use of social platform in order to socialize and build relationships. They need protection (in order to start using the web and its potential without risks), they need significant social relationships (romance and/or friendship) and to empower their life experience.
CHALLENGEThere are two different world where young people live in: a real one and a virtual space.
In Italy, kids and adolescents with disabilities and fragilities can attend school and aggregation centers thanks to the regulations under law 104/1992. As far as concerns the virtual world, there are no such instruments to protect and integrate this population cluster.
Truth is, no social platform can be used now by disable or fragile young people without the risks of exclusion, cyber-bullying or tricky advances. As a result, these people are prevented from the many opportunities people with typical development have, who spend an average 50% of their time on social platforms.
Accordingly, professionals (psychologists, educators, tutors) working with disable and fragile people need to strengthen their competences and knowledge. There are no such training courses in Italy providing guidelines on how to educate and guide people with special needs through the use of the virtual social space.
TICE wants to respond to this growing social reality by launching Mindbook, a tailored platform which progressively support and empower youngsters with disabilities and fragilities and increase their social skills. Mindbook is conceived to be a temporary social network, functional to educate people with educational special needs to become good and prepared users of any other conventional social networks.
Mindbook shall be tested at the local level by the local public authority, and TICE and the five new-born start-up cooperatives shall be licensed to use it in the experimental phase by involving their pupils and professionals. Mindbook will in fact also include certified training courses for psychologists, educators, tutors, who will be both responsible for and mediators of the users of the temporary social platform.
In the experimental phase, a total of 40 pupils and 13 operators might be testing the pilot version of our innovative platform. Although the pilot phase will involve this selected cluster, we aim to reach all fragile and disable youngsters aged 13-24 years, that is, the specific population whom Mindbook is addressed to. Mindbook can then be adapted to become operational in all countries of the world, also being the project exploitable by any innovative start-ups which create devices for the disability. This would further contribute to a virtuous circle of social innovation.
THE CHALLENGE OWNER
TICE is an education center working on innovative techniques for the development of childhood competences. TICE is a training gym where kids and adolescents can learn important life skills, through individual and group educational work.
Our mission is to enable people with disabilities and fragilities to interact and socialize as any other peer, as well as to have a wide net of social, economic or commercial relationships. This include being able to approach and to exploit the very many opportunities of the virtual social world.
TICE works on the study and analysis of those behaviors on which live social interactions (learning to talk, reducing stereotypes etc.) and virtual ones (learning to read, to write, etc.) are based. Our vision conceives a concrete response to the growing need of protection on one side, and of socialization on the other side, of fragile and disable people. Mindbook project was designed to meet those needs. Up to now, TICE worked for the project development through the following fundamental outputs:
Quantity and quality analysis of the target population needs (feat. University of Parma), observational check list for the Mindbook user (feat. University of North Texas), training courses for certified Mindbook professionals (psychologists, educators and other figures) and Mindbook sites (feat. University of Parma), studies on the platform demo portal, on the (online and offline) communication plan, on the video tutorial for Mindbook professionals. Mindbook was then designed in its structure and functioning, which expects three different levels of progression for its users:
- Basic (for pupils under 16 and their families, for network building),
- Friend (building confidence and autonomy to achieve an appropriate level of usage),
- Intimity (for pupils over 16, for independent relationship building).
The Challenge Owner
TICE. Live and Learn
Teaching Techniques for developmental learning. TICE's mission is to develop a scientific culture and an holistic and positive approach to education and training.