Virtual Mobilities for All

The global pandemic has shown how much digital technology can provide solutions to situations that seemed dependent on face-to-face interaction. We have seen how teaching and learning opportunities have been organised through face-to-face, online and hybrid modes. We have also seen the same dynamic being applied to international mobility. It can be short or long term, synchronous or asynchronous; it can also be physical, virtual or hybrid. None of these forms of learning mobility act as a substitute for the other; on the contrary, each can and should bring its own opportunities and the development of specific skills. The area of virtual mobility opportunities is gradually opening up to more and more people. A key question follows as to how can such international mobility be extended to those who remain for different reasons distant from it in a an inclusive and accessible manner.

This European project has brought together a team of academics, researchers, youth workers and NGOs with expertise in the disability sector. The focus has been on exploring how best to promote opportunities for harder to reach young adults and those with disabilities to participate in international activities. The team developed a set of tools that were tested across a set of youth and community centres in six European countries, where young adults were facilitated to engage virtually with each other in a series of discussions and events. The aim has been to better understand the types of supports that young people with a disability and those harder to reach would need to allow them the chance to avail of ErasmusPlus or other mobility options. All these resources are available on the project website. The tools allow for mediators, family members and young adults themselves to fully explore what is involved in taking on such an opportunity and what are the types of skills and supports that are required.

Nexus Research Co-operative, Ireland