“Dis-Act” will enhance the inclusive potential of Theatre as an instrument of opening opportunities and dispelling prejudice against people with disability through the production of quality educational offer for operators and disabled adults themselves in Devised Theater.

The project lasts a total 24 months and involves 6 partners from Germany, Bulgaria, Italy, Estonia and Romania. Dis-Act is addressed to an audience of direct targets (disabled adults aged 35-55 coming from disadvantaged urban and rural communities and Educators/Trainers providing or interested in providing support to their social inclusion) and indirect targets (Adult education institutions, NGOs, cultural businesses and associations, Arts centers/groups, Organizations of disabled people, Organizations/public agencies providing services for disabled people).

Dis-Act will deliver the following tangible results in the 24 months of the cooperation:
– Report of a research across partner countries identifying the needs and barriers of adults with disabilities (physical as well as cognitive) in the frame of Devised Theater as well as mapping the existing offer. The Report will be made widely visible on project Web Platform and partners’ Websites as well as promoted on multiple levels through offline and online means.
– Educational format based on NFE conceived as a term of reference for stakeholder institutions to put in place a specific educational offer aimed at training operators working with the adult target in implementing/supporting co-creation programmes in Devised Theater involving adults with and without disabilities.
– International Piloting successfully implemented with the involvement of educators/trainers from partner organizations (5 educators/trainers per country/partner).
– Local Programmes implemented in each partner country with the involvement of 15 learners per country (5 with physical disability, 5 with slight cognitive disability and 5 non disabled adults).
– 1 theatrical performance at the conclusion of each Local Programme.
– 1 Guidebook providing orientation and methodological guidance for operators in the implementation of Devised Theater co-creation programmes involving adults with and without disabilities.
– 1 Web Platform in multiple languages including E-Modules for the self-development of operators in the field across partner countries and in Europe.
– 1 Multiplier Event implemented per each partner country with the participation of 100 individuals among general public, disabled adults and stakeholders per Event.

The European Disability Strategy (2010) sets the overall objective of empowering people with disability with a view to enabling their full participation in society on a footing of parity with the non disabled, also by positive action aimed at eliminating all kinds of discrimination against disabled people.

Among the stumbling blocks mentioned by the strategy are persisting discrimination, low access to education and employment in the labor market and income inequalities/poverty affecting the disabled disproportional than the rest of the population due to root causes of lower participation in education and employment.

At the European level, only 48,7% of persons with disabilities are employed compared with 72,5% of the non disabled. For the 20-64 component of the disabled population, the EU unemployment rate is 19,6% against a total unemployment of 12,7% for the average adult targets. At the European level, 41.2% of persons aged 30-34 have completed a tertiary or equivalent education against a 29,7% pertance among the corresponding age-band of the disabled population.

The Report “The European Comparative Data on Europe 2020 & People with Disabilities” (2017) released by the Center for Social and Economic Policy, notices that disability increases the risk of poverty
and social exclusion in all EU Member States. Dis-Act deploys an intervention on the skills-related and emotional dimension of disabled people’s plight through exploiting the educational, integration and creative dimension of Devised Theater. Devised Theater is conceived as an original approach to the theatrical production entailing a peer process of cooperation between a group of co-creators in the achievement of a final artistic product.

Through the production of a quality educational offer fostering the capacities of adult operators and institutions in employing Devised Theater as an instrument of empowerment of disabled adults in the context of co-creation programmes engaging them in peer-interaction with adults not affected by disability, Dis-Act will therefore set the grounds for the development of soft/transversal skills and competences of creative expression in the disabled, while at the same time breaking stereotypes and the internalized as well as external emotional barriers hampering the full inclusion of disabled adults in society.