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TRAIN2VALIDATE is a strategic partnership in the field of higher education focused on one of the European priorities in the national context: social inclusion. The main goal of the project is the creation of new specific professional profiles for the production of easy-to-read materials (E2R materials): validators and facilitators. Validators are people who check the comprehensibility of final texts adapted into E2R, a methodology focused on producing contents easy to understand for people with reading difficulties (from people with intellectual disabilities to elderly, recent immigrants, low literacy or dyslexia, amongst others). Facilitators are supporters that help validators organise and develop their job and are connected to E2R writers to send them their amendments.
TRAIN2VALIDATE originates from the development of Easy to Read (E2R) as an inclusive writing methodology that enables people with cognitive needs to access information. Until now, there have been relevant projects to include this solution as a tool for long-life learning (EU funded projects Pathways I and II) and to consolidate the role of the E2R writer (EU project EASIT). Globally, the International Standardisation Organisation is working on a standard for E2R, which is similar to that published in Spain in April 2018 (UNE 153101 EX) and to the DIN standard that is under development in Germany. While these efforts have put forward both the profession of E2R writers and guidelines, there is still a lack of training and recognition of the other two job roles involved: facilitators and validators.
The specific objectives are to define the skills of facilitators and validators as professional roles; to propose a curriculum both theoretical and practical, fostering the creation of vocational and higher education courses as a possibility of inclusive long-life learning pathways; to create and validate specific open educational resources to learn and train to become facilitator or validator; and to propose different options of certification or degree at some stage.
TRAIN2VALIDATE blends a group of complementary partners: HEIs, end-users’ organisations and a company specialised in certification. This is a balanced approach, because HEIs have experience in designing training, while end-users’ organisations have a deep knowledge in E2R, the current roles of validators and facilitators and educational needs that people with reading difficulties requires to achieve any studies. Additionally, the certification company will contribute to ensure that final results will be applicable beyond the end of the project. End users will be relevant participants, because they are beneficiaries of the expected outputs of the projects. All partners have an involvement in E2R, accessible or inclusive communication tools or education for people with reading difficulties, which is the main strength of the partnership.
TRAIN2VALIDATE will produce the following Intellectual Outputs: a common methodological framework for the training facilitators and validators across Europe. (IO1); skills cards for both profiles in order to define the specific competences and abilities that a facilitator and a validator should possess. (IO2); a modular curriculum that will take into account teaching recommendations and guidelines as these profiles can be carried out by people with learning difficulties. (IO3); open educational resources in digital accessible formats with indications of learning strategies to support a successful programme for the target. (IO4); evaluation tools for these resources and recommendations about their implementation. (IO5); and possible certifications or strategies to develop some kind of degrees at some stage. (IO6). All project outputs will be at free disposal and download in the project website. Regarding IO development, TRAIN2VALIDATION is grounded in a solid methodology, with clear steps in all IOs, which guarantees the project results will be achieved.
TRAIN2VALIDATE covers the second part of the E2R process, becoming a basic complementation and including an innovative perspective, as it proposes a specific profile in which only people with reading difficulties are the best for this task. The idea is transforming the view that a disability or a difficulty is a charge, on the contrary in this case it is a competitive advantage in order to perceive difficulties where others do not do it. These new eyes are a social benefit and let the quality of an E2R product improve. So, TRAIN2VALIDATE is built on the idea of social inclusion for global and social improvement. There are also several projects connected to accessibility to contents, but more focused on multimedia (LTA, ADLAB or ILSA). The achievement of standardised high-quality and cross-fertilised contents will help the consolidation of validators and facilitators as real professional profiles, boosting the relevance of easy to read in the field of accessibility as a professional activity.