The project “TESI – Adaptive Personalized System for Creating Expression Tools in Social Inclusion of Learners with Verbal Communication Disabilities” focuses on social integration of people with verbal communication disorders that are at risk of social isolation. It is dedicated to conceptualizing and development of social competence related to personal, social and professional development of people with verbal communication disorders through creation of adaptive, affordable and easy-to-use software solution that will enrich their personal expression opportunities. The project started in 2018 and its duration is 2 years.
An adaptive, affordable and easy-to-use software application called TESI Tool is developed within the frame of the project. TESI Tool assists children with different types of verbal disorders (children with Down syndrome, intellectual disabilities, speech and language impairment, autism) in their everyday life, at the school, or the center, where they are trained. The role of TESI is to help these children to express themselves, to support their interaction with parents and teachers. This is a prerequisite for the formation of skills and the acquisition of certain, tailored to their capabilities, knowledge.
The pilot experiments were carried out with four target groups:
1. TESI users:
– Children with language disabilities, most of them being students in special schools, and migrants with language disabilities (both children and adults)
– People with social integration difficulties – refugees.
2. The teachers and other specialists working with TESI users from target group one
3. The parents / guardians of the children with language disabilities from the target group one;
4.Students from the three partner universities, studying social work or pedagogy – future teachers.
Results from the pilot experiments with the target group 1 identified the following benefits of working with the TESI application:
- Enriching the vocabulary with words and concepts in the fields of: nutrition, dressing, playing, health, shopping, moving in a familiar environment, public transportation, communication in the family, communication in school and with strangers, learning process;
- Achieving the correct pronunciation of difficult sounds, including them in words and expressions;
- Development of emotional security necessary for communicative activities;
- Improving attention sustainability, achieving better concentration;
- Development of thought processes and memory.
For target groups one and three the main result was the improvement of the communication with verbal impaired people. Students from target group 4 reported that their experience to work with children with disabilities is of great benefit to their professional development. All students are convinced that they will recommend the use of mobile technology and especially of TESI Tool in education and assistance of children with disabilities.
Pilot results show that TESI Tool can support the training of children with special educational needs. It helps these children in communication and improved their expression skills. It can contribute to their socialization and integration into society.
Plovdiv University “Paisii Hilendarski” (PU), Bulgaria
Spanish University for Distance Education (UNED), Spain
University of Craiova (UCV), Romania
Uniwersytet Jana Kochanowskiego w Kielcach (UJK ), Poland
Scoala Gimnaziala Speciala Sf. Mina Craiova (MINA), Romania
Josip Matos Primary school (OS-Matosa), Croatia
Association for Education and Development of Disabled People (ASEDDEDIPE), Greece
School for Students with Hearing Impairments “Stoyan Belinov” – Plovdiv (CHD), Bulgaria