REAL:   Reflective  Expressive  Artistic Learning

exploring the concept of quality in learning disability arts



  • working together through a series of workshops, activities and conversations (one in each partner organisation)
  • practical exploratory learning and examination of current practice and methodologies
  • critical reflection


What is quality?

  • How do we identify, attain and maintain quality in the creative process when working with disabled young people?
  • How does quality impact on the experiences of disabled young people?
  • How important is quality and how does it help improve participation and inclusion?


What we hope to achieve:

  • a greater awareness of issues of quality in working practices & products
  • a clear understanding of the barriers faced by learning disabled young people in the arts & routes we can all use to overcome those barriers
  • strategies for raising the profile of the work of learning disabled young people
  • new skills for arts and youth workers around creative methods of inclusion and empowerment
  • a best practice resource for those working in the arts and with young people, in the form of a documentary resource


Meeting 1: VOARTE (Portugal):
Overcoming barriers to Inclusion through Dance

Workshop 1

  • exploring the work of VOARTE
  • exploring dance as a tool to overcome barriers
  • exploring an evaluation methodology

Conversation 1

  • What are the difficulties and barriers facing young learning disabled people who want to participate in creative events within their communities?
  • How do we identify quality in creative arts practice?
  • How is inclusion a ‘quality’ issue?



Meeting 2: JDC (Lithuania) :
Issue-based theatre

Workshop 2

  • using theatre to raise the profile of learning disabled young people and ways to speak up about issues that affect them
  • issue-based theatre techniques
  • exploring an evaluation methodology

Conversation 2

  • How important is issue-based work for learning disabled young people?
  • How does theatre help raise awareness of issues?
  • How do we use theatre to help people speak up?



Meeting 3: Ad Astra (Poland) :
Platforms and Inclusion

Workshop 3

  • Exploring the work of Ad Astra (Poland)
  • How platforms can be used to help promote the work of learning disabled young people
  • Exploring what ‘process’ means through practical workshops.
  • Exploring an evaluation methodology.


Conversation 3

  • Process or product – Is quality process more important that quality product?
  • Can quality product be achieved without sacrificing quality in the process?
  • How does this affect young people with learning disabilities?



Meeting 4: ANTIGONE (Greece):
Critical Reflection

Workshop 4

  • Exploring the work of ANTIGONE
  • Exploring how we mobilise young people
  • Practical application of new facilitation techniques and analysis of their response from young people
  • Exploring an evaluation methodology.

Conversation 4

  • How do we identify best practice within different approaches?
  • How do we get honest feedback for the work of learning disabled young people?
  • What methods/approaches can we identify?



Meeting 5: Headway Arts (UK): 

Workshop 5

  • practical workshop on relationship development with venues and platform coordinators
  • how this affects the quality of work produced by learning disabled young people
  • creating a site specific performance for a venue or audience
  • bringing together techniques and methodologies learned so far

Conversation 5

  • How important are mainstream platforms for the work of learning disabled young people?
  • How do we gain access to these platforms?
  • Are they appropriate?



Partners will work with the participants from the host organisation to explore and discuss the issues around quality.

Through Learning Teaching Training activities we will learn concrete methodologies needed to achieve quality in their work and the work of the learners in their own organisations.


Through these meetings, conversations and discussions which will include learners and staff from the host organisation the project will explore best practice, reflect on their own practice and look at ways of opening the doors to learning disabled young people so they can fully participate in the social cultural and economic communities in which they live.

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