The SWING project was funded in 2013 by the European Union Tempus programme for Capacity Building in Higher Education and was a forerunner of the PACES project.
The main aim of the SWING project was to offer students with disabilities in Egypt and Morocco equal access to university education and future career opportunities, by using accessible, assistive technology. The achievements of the project were: the development of the first Accessibility Centre Model; co-creation of 10 training modules; development of the SWING Advisors’ Training Handbook; establishment of the first physical Accessibility Centres in Morocco and Egypt and the establishment of a new law in Morocco to help people with disabilities with financial grants for education.
The SWING project addressed a key area of the need, to modernise Higher Education (HE) in the neighbouring Southern Mediterranean region of North Africa: the provision of support for the integration of students with disabilities into mainstream HE and the development of strategic tools to enable this process to continue in the future. The project was ground-breaking in the implementation of Accessibility Centres in Morocco and Egypt and the development of the Accessibility Model that can be used in any higher education institution either within or outside of North Africa or the EU.
The practical elements of the project were:
Research into the needs and gaps in provision for students with disabilities in the Universities in Egypt and Morocco
Observations of best practice in Europe by the North African staff visiting EU Institutions
Development of the first ever Accessibility Model
Co-creation of 10 training modules and the SWING Advisors’ Training Handbook
Set up and establishment of the first physical Accessibility Centres in Morocco and Egypt
Training of staff and students in the modules
Dissemination and publication of the activities and results of the project
Exploitation of the project results through policy change and governmental networks
Sustainability through high profile publicity, University senior management support and student empowerment.
Differences in SWING and PACES
The PACES project started in October 2017 funded by the EU Erasmus+ programme for capacity building. The aim of the PACES project is to build on the successful outcomes of the SWING project and to increase the number of Accessibility Centres and training in the region, thereby increasing the employment prospects for students with disabilities.
2 Universities in Egypt
4 Universities in Egypt
2 Universities in Morocco
4 Universities in Morocco
4 Accessibility Centres developed
5 new Accessibility Centres plus 3 Accessibility Centres progressed
SWING Training Programme Developed
SWING training programme progressed to include self-determination and efficacy
The addition of mobile, flexible, pop-up Accessibility Centres (a kit of resources) that can be taken to colleges, other universities, civic centres and schools – thereby increasing the reach of Accessible Technology and Disability Awareness in outreach venues that would otherwise not have access the static physical centres. The aim being that other educators, families and supporters would understand the requirements and available resources to enable students with disabilities to complete education and eventually move into employment.
The addition of a Virtual Accessibility Centre on the website containing all the resources of training materials, recommended equipment and any other helpful resources the aim being to amplify the reach of the outcomes of the project.
The addition of Employer Accessibility Mentors (EAMs) that will help champion the employment of people with disabilities.
The development of an Employers Charter that will be signed by employers during the project and used to increase the number of Employers empathetic to people with disabilities
The addition of a Student Volunteers Scheme for peer to peer support of students with disabilities.