Smart Tourism

Smart_TourismDuring these more recent times; Ireland has evolved into a nation of ‘globetrotters’ with young adults travelling the globe meeting their peers and experiencing different cultures. Down Syndrome Ireland is committed to ensuring that people with Down syndrome experience the same life opportunities as their peers in the general population. In order to realise this goal; we are committed to leading the way in providing the necessary supports to empower our members to avail of life’s opportunities through various projects and initiatives.

Project Overview

The Smart Tourism European Project is presented within Grundtvig’s Lifelong Learning Programme (LLP); Learning Partnership. The project focuses on the development of new methods and tools through the mobility, active participation and exchange of experiences of people with Down syndrome. The project involves the participation of three Down syndrome associations comprising the national associations of Italy, Ireland and Portugal.

The mission of all three partner organisations is to improve the quality of life of people with Down syndrome and promote independence across the lifespan.

Objectives:

The project foresaw the production of three easy-to-read European city guidebooks comprising Rome, Dublin and Lisbon. The primary target group is individuals with Down syndrome, however it is envisaged that the easy-to-read guidebooks will also be of use to other target groups including people with a low level of English and those with acquired brain injury. The guidebooks have been designed and developed by people with Down syndrome from each of the participating countries. The guidebooks are language accessible for a learning disability population.

Participation:

Each partner organisation that took part in the project provided a team of participants:
Each national group comprises two sub-groups:

      1. The Editors; Eight people with Down syndrome who wrote and designed a guidebook for their respective country. Two professionals who supported and guided the group in their work.
      2. The Testers; Eight people with Down syndrome who tested the guidebooks of the two foreign countries and their own national guidebook. Two professionals who supported and guided the group in their work.

Conclusion:

The project concluded in Ireland with the production of an easy-to-read ‘Smart Tourism’ Guidebook of our capital city.

This guidebook was designed by people with Down syndrome for people with Down syndrome.

The project participants developed a range of writing and analytical skills during the production and testing phases of this project. Participants were introduced to a new genre of writing.

Participants experienced travelling experiences in two European countries as recommended by their peers.

Participants demonstrated improved self-confidence as the project progressed and the participants worked together as a team by listening to and respecting one another’s opinions.

The Smart Tourism project has empowered our members to avail of life’s opportunities similar to those opportunities afforded to their peers in the general population.