Jorge Ascensão - President of CONFAP Portugal
HundrED shortlisted this innovation
Why did you create this innovation?
650 million people worldwide face some “barriers” in their daily lives preventing them from learning and communicating through reading, writing, or speaking. In Portugal we talk about 1.7 million of people. I believe that all children should have equal learning opportunities and communicate without barriers, in a lesser restrictive environment. Only then we’ll have a more inclusive education.
How does your innovation work in practice?
EKUI is a Universal Design methodology for learning the alphabet. It uses visual cues (the alphabet of the Sign Language), phono articulatory cues (alphabet of sounds) and sensory cues (Braille) to enhance the learning and communication of all students, not leaving anyone behind. It is therefore more inclusive and accessible to everyone. To materialize the methodology, we use a set of 26 letters with the letters of the alphabet in physical version and app. Each letter has the handwritten letters with the respective grapheme and: The tactile and visual braille letter, the alphabet of the Sign Language (LGP), and the phonetic alphabet (children of speech).We train parents and professionals to implement the methodology. Afterwards, we provide mentoring to teachers in schools (online) and evaluate the impact through university-validated questionnaires.
EKUI focuses on an upstream and proactive attitude, promoting a methodology to solve problems before the symptoms start appearing.
How has it been spreading?
After 5 years of dissemination, in 2020, EKUI reached 353 student classes all over Portugal. We reached 11.225 children and teenagers from 310 cities within Portugal, and 12 in the world. We trained 5606 parents, educators, teachers and therapists. In this moment, we are a community of 113.453 persons, including some migrant and emigrant communities.
We are scaling through a digital platform (in Portuguese and English), where we have provided training and materials with universal design, an App and a manual of use of the EKUI methodology.
We want to continue to deliver EKUI in more schools in Portugal and in the world!
If I want to try it, what should I do?
Go to the platform. Impact evaluation, have shown that professionals implementing the EKUI methodology, change their teaching practices. Consequently, we’ve observed that children have increased letter learning abilities, development of phonetic skills and improved inclusive attitudes.EKUI has been considered as a great inclusive, efficient tool for families, teachers and therapists.