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ImPAct MDVI

ImPAct MDVI - Activity Based Intervention

ImPAct MDVI was developed as part of the Socrates Education and Culture programme of the European Union between 2003 and 2006. The project ImPAct MDVI was a Comenius 2.1 Action (training of school education staff). The project addressed the concerns of teachers of children and young adults with Multiple Disabilities and Visual Impairment (MDVI) as to how they were expected to integrate the diverse curriculum elements and particular skills they have been taught into a meaningful Individualised Educational Programme (IEP). A holistic approach centred on activities, participation and involvement in real life situation and based upon ICF / WHO Perspectives on Rehabilitation and the Salamanca Statement was usedThe objective of the ImPact MDVI project is to develop a holistic teaching approach for teachers working with children with Multiple Disabilities and a Visual Impairment (MDVI). The project has arisen out of a recognition that models of teacher preparation in the area of severe and profound special needs often lack an overall vision and strategy to achieve identified goals. This project responds to the needs and rights of children with MDVI which is to participate and be active within natural environments. Such needs should be central to the learning process and in the promotion of children's quality of life both in school and in the future.

A post project dissemination seminar was held in Senigallia, Italy in late October 2006 and was attended by 45 delegates and tutors from 14 countries.

The objective of the ImPact MDVI project was to develop a holistic teaching approach for teachers working with children with Multiple Disabilities and a Visual Impairment (MDVI). The project arose out of a recognition that models of teacher preparation in the area of severe and profound special needs often lack an overall vision and strategy to achieve identified goals. This project responded to the needs and rights of children with MDVI which is to participate and be active within natural environments. Such needs should be central to the learning process and in the promotion of children’s quality of life both in school and in the future.

The ImPAct MDVI partnership believe that there is a need for a holistic model that looks at the teacher as the facilitator of participation and action rather than as a provider of decontextualised skills, which are difficult to generalise for the majority of students with MDVI. The holistic teaching approach which ImPAct MDVI developed is based on the activities, participation and involvement in real life situations, so that the whole child with Multiple Disabilities and a Visual Impairment (MDVI) is involved in their complete social and physical context. The working tool for teachers of children with MDVI was being adapted to the needs of the participating countries.

Theoretical background to ImPAct MDVI

The ImPact MDVI method is based on a 5-step model develop by Tellevik and Elmerskog (2001) †. This approach outlines the concepts of participation and activity in the de velopment of intervention strategies for children with MDVI. The following flowchart outlines the 5-step approach:

1.
ANALYSIS OF THE TARGET PERSON'S PRESENT SITUATION
2.
PLANNING FUTURE ACTIVITY, DEFINING MAIN GOALS
Spheres of activity
ADL
activities
Domestic activities
Work
activities
Educational
activities
Social/Culture activities
3.
PRIORITISING ACTIVITIES
4.
IMPLEMENTING (planning, organisation and training)
5.
EVALUATION

† Tellevik, J.M. & Elmerskog, B. (2001). The Mobility and Rehabilitation Programme in Uganda. A Sociocultural Approach to Working with Visually Impaired Persons. Oslo: Unipub

Explanation

1. Analysis of present situation: In order to work toward individual long-term goals, it is necessary to map out the present life situation of the child with MDVI. It is, among others, required to find out what activities the target person participates in. There are five main spheres of activity. These are: activities of daily living (ADL), domestic activities, cultural activities, work activities and educational activities. The target child’s performance on identified activities can, if needed, be assessed.

It is assumed that a satisfactory life situation requires a reasonable balance between the different spheres of activity. However, the mapping often shows that participation in some spheres of activity is predominant. This concerns mainly ADL-activities. Children with MDVI are often lacking experiences in activities common for sighted children such as playing, participating in sport, performing family duties etc. They are often dependent on others in most activities, often caused by lacking skills in Orientation and Mobility (O&M) as well as communication.

2. Analysis of future situation (visioning the future) and defining main goals: In order to define goals for the future it is necessary to set up a vision for the future. This implies that the teacher, in collaboration with the target person and his or her social network, set up a vision, based on the information which was gathered during the first mapping (present situation). The vision must be based on a realistic feasibility of a better future, where the teacher, in particular, focus on participation in activities that normally take place in the target person’s usual environment. If the identified activities are insufficient to obtain personal goals, new activities must be planned and made available for the person with MDVI. A reasonable balance between five earlier mentioned spheres of activity should be considered.

Comparing present situation and future vision is the basic framework for defining main goals for future education work. Main goals are defined according to the five spheres of activity mentioned previously, and in relation to general objective associated with development, health and social integration.

3. Prioritising activities: A range of needs, wishes and suggestions for action-oriented initiatives always come forth in connection with the process of the mapping the present situation and future vision. In most cases, it is necessary to prioritise among the suggested activities and other initiatives.

Prioritisation of activities might imply that new activities are introduced. Or it could also imply independence training in activities that the individual already participates in. In most cases O&M and communication teaching will be considered in order to ensure that the individual will participate in the defined activity.

4. Planning, organisation and training: Prioritised activities are to be prepared for teaching or other prospective initiatives. Preparation of teaching includes making task analyses of prioritised activities, establishment of mobility routes necessary to reach the activities etc., in order to obtain structured teaching and learning situations. Teaching is normally accomplished in the target person’s usual environment, where participation from "sighted helpers" from the target person’s social network is needed. It is of crucial importance that these "helpers" are given requisite competence and motivation, in order to enable them to participate in the teaching. In addition (in most cases) communication intervention and physical adaptation will be required, for instance “what kind of communication skills are required in order to manage the activity/route in/to that particular activity such as shopping”.

5. Evaluation: Evaluation of the work is important in order to detect necessary adjustments of goals, training and other initiatives. These evaluations are carried out regularly, both in long-term and short-term perspectives.

Target groups for ImPAct MDVI

The ImPAct MDVI approach will be of interest to:

Teacher trainers
Teachers
Therapists
Social workers
Educative administrators
Parents and families
However, the ultimate target group is all children with MDVI served by teachers and other educators.

Project Outcomes

Seminar in 2006 as detailed above
Booklet of teaching ideas based on 5-step model produced in number of languages. (Limited copies of English language version still available. For a copy, please contact MDVI Euronet through Contact Us page.)
Presentation at ICEVI Europe Conference in Chemnitz in 2005

Recent developments

The ImPAct MDVI Comenius project ended in 2006 but various participants have been continuing to develop the ideas and planning tools particularly in Ireland, Italy, Norway, Scotland and Sweden. MDVI Euronet partners, led by Bengt Elmerskog, organised a meeting in early March 2010 hosted by Tambartun National Resource Centre for the Visual Impaired, Melhus, Norway. This activity based seminar, reviewed the meaning and use of an activity-based intervention approach and facts and findings from different surveys and studies since 2006. There were individual presentations from participants and the seminar finished with a plenary session that discussed the way forward for activity based intervention. Over 30 people attended from 9 countries. Presentations were made on the practical and theoretic level and a lively debate took part. The seminar concluded that:-

The value of the ImPAct, 5 step activity based intervention approach is that all practitioners have ownership of the approach. To further development, seminar members agreed that we need to encourage others to try the approach and share their experiences and thus become part of the ‘family'.

To empower this development more information needs to be made available at the practical level. This could take the form of a publication/book.

The International Classification of Function framework is a key part of activity based intervention but it often struggles to be recognised at the practitioner level. The Impact 5 step approach could be a useful vehicle for making ICF more accessible as a useful support tool.

It would be useful if another seminar could be held in a few years time based on case studies with each participating group/country having a different focus of interest for their presentation.

If you would like more information about Activity based intervention/ImPAct MDVI, please use the ‘contact us’ form on this website.

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