Universitat Jaume I de Castelló (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2021 Proceedings
Publication year: 2021
Page: 7832
ISBN: 978-84-09-27666-0
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2021.1573
Conference name: 15th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 8-9 March, 2021
Location: Online Conference
Many of the future professionals in the educational field have not been in contact with people with intellectual disability (ID) during their lives. So, sometimes they have stereotypes and prejudices about how these children develop, learn and manage in inclusion settings. Consequently, it is essential to work on these stereotypes to promote more inclusive practices in their future labour.

Moreover, educational inclusion of children with ID in ordinary schools disappears as children grow up, and although specific programs have been designed for adolescents and young adults with ID, it this does not respond to actual inclusion. Consequently, people with ID are not still visible and present in universities. In this sense, recent experiences of collaborative activities and workshops where people with ID work together with undergraduates have demonstrated to be a great formative and personal experience for both of them. However, their effectiveness has not been always demonstrated with objective measures.

The aim of the present experience is to create a collaborative workshop for undergraduates from Education degrees and young adults with ID in the University Jaume I de Castelló (UJI), to generate a space for the exchange of vital experiences among participants. The workshop topic was “Equality and Gender”. It was expected to expand the inclusion of people with ID in the university setting, improving their visibility on campus and increase the number of real inclusive practices in the framework of the university.

The participants of the inclusive workshop were twenty-one volunteer students from the subject Development Disorders of the Degree in Education, and six students from the Down Syndrome (DS) Association of Castellón. The workshop consisted in nine sessions that took place during the first term, with a duration of 2 hours each one, with a 15-minute break. In these sessions, several activities were carried out: reading articles and watching videos related to gender equality; sharing of experiences of each member of the group on gender equality in different contexts (work, educational, social); listening of several songs and analysis of the connotations of these songs; and finally the creation of a common video (as a group project), changing the lyrics of several songs, to raise awareness about gender equality.

Finally, to prove the effectiveness of this innovative experience, three questionnaires about attitude towards working with people with special needs were administered to UJI students that took part in the workshop in pre and post-test situations. Moreover, students from DS Association were interviewed individually to find out their satisfaction with the workshop.

Even though UJI students had a good attitude towards working with people with special needs, this attitude improved after the workshop. Furthermore, students from DS Association affirmed to be very satisfied with the experience.

After this analysis, it can be said that both UJI and DS Association students were very satisfied took part in such an innovative experience. It is concluded that the university students are now more aware of the reality of adults with ID, and students of the DS Association have been given the opportunity to share their experience with their age-peers. Other universities in Spain are developing programs under these same premises, which encourages us to continue carrying out new actions.
Intellectual disability, inclusion, university.