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PEARL – Support to inclusive education of children with disabilities in kindergartens and preschools in both B&H entities

Project realized in cooperation with:
Hilfswerk Austria International
Association for Help and Development HAJDE Sarajevo
Association for Work with children with learning and developing disabilities „Kutak“ Sarajevo
Association of Parents of handycapped children and youth „Leptir“ Srebrenica
The General Administracion Office and Social Servises, Department of Social Welfare Kiseljak

Donor: Erste Foundation Austrija

Project name: PEARL – Support to inclusive education of children with disabilities in kindergartens and preschools in both B&H entities




Project description

Project «PEARL – Support to inclusive education of children with disabilities in kindergartens and preschools in both BH entities» started with sending requests for the approval of the project implementation to the relevant ministries in all three regions which are foreseen for the progress of project activities. The procedure of issuing approvals lasted a certain period. This period was used to assemble the project team and prepare the activities.
Within the project, a total of 12 workshops was held for teachers in preschools institutions, parents of children with special needs, and other professionals who are involved in the inclusion process, from the observation, diagnosis to the inclusion in to the system i.e. psychologists, teachers, educators, social workers, doctors, special educators...

Workshops were held in three project regions:
1) Sarajevo Canton
2) Central Bosnia Canton
3) Birča Region (Srebrenica, Bratunac, Vlasenica, Milići i Šekovići)
For the project implementation we have formed a project implementation team (PIT), which was composed of experts in the field of inclusion and experienced in work with children with special needs, from all three project regions, in regular and special education. In total 8 members from all partner organizations.
PIT recorded the situation in the regions and made a selection of the topics that have to be emphasized through workshops (both, for teachers and for parents). In this way, it was clear that the situation and needs in the project regions were different.
From a large number of children, who live in the Birča region, who are not involved in the educational system (neither preschool nor school) and have 12 or more years; to Kiseljak which has a Center for Early Childhood Development with at least two preschool institutions for children with special needs; and Sarajevo Canton where the inclusion began most first. In accordance to that, the direction and content of workshops were determined.
Data on the situation in the field were basis for formation of a program for a study visit to Austria, a country in which the educational inclusion works for more than 50 years. The study visit was attended by the PIT.
Visits were organized in integrative groups to regular kindergartens (Wiener kindergarten-two kindergartens of which one with a special class), to an NGO which supports the inclusion process (Integration Wien), and to the Organization for Autistic Population in Austria. Based on previous experience in work of all PIT members, experiences and models introduced during the study visit to Austria, and in accordance to the needs of the majority in the region, educational material was designed, printed and distributed to all workshop members.
Within the project, a study entitled „An insight into the state of social inclusion of children with special needs in regular education in BiH“was prepared. Testing of readiness of preschool institutions for inclusion was carried out for the preparation of the study.
Project results, the situation on the field and other information’s were presented within the conference as a final project activity which was held in Sarajevo.

Topics through workshops:
- Methodological aspects of work with children with developing and learning disabilities
- Early growth and development, politics of early growth and development, view of the current situation in B&H and the local community
- Diagnosis of child development with indications on development I rare developmental disabilities as starting point for the creation of individual tailored programs of early growth simulation and development of children (Multidisciplinary approach)
- Integration process of children with disabilities into the regular educational system
- Guideline through rights of people with disabilities
- Early medical diagnosis of children with indicators of development disabilities, the importance and difficulties
- Psychological diagnosis of early growth children, experiences
- Functional diagnosis of children with pervasive developmental disabilities according to the ABA approach.
- Stimulation program of early growth and development of children with developmental disabilities-multidisciplinary approach
- Stimulation program of early growth and development of children
- Experiences in applying the stimulation of early growth and children development according to the Montessori approach
- Stimulation program of early growth and children development according to the ABA approach
- Experiences in applying music as a stimulation for early growth and children development in conjunction with the work of a speech therapist
- Effective early intervention and support- improving child health

All listed topic are handled with a lot of practical examples and practical work. Experts from various regions participated in workshops in other regions, which was a new experience for them.

Generally, project PEARL is rated with a very high grade from participants in workshops (a total of 223 participants). The average rating is 4,76 (on a scale from 1 to 5).

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