RIX Research and Media was a partner organisation for the three year European project, Inclu Edu, from 2014 -2017. IncluEdu is a strategic partnership of leading European Educators and Researchers who collectively have a unique expertise in the field of ICT and inclusive learning. IncluEdu, with the support of EU project funding, has developed a range of competence based courses that enable European Educators to use tablets and mobile devices to activate and empower their learners.  The courses, which are delivered in a number of major European cities, aim to enable European education organisations to provide more inclusive, personalised education for people with and without special educational needs.

Alongside our tablet courses we have created a lively online community platform where educators can exchange ideas and best practice with like-minded peers from across Europe. They can also access a wide range of learning resources and success stories, from which they can draw inspiration and gain concrete practical skills. Register here to join the community yourself.

Mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets are now commonplace in today´s society and we see a significant increase in their usage in school and adult education. The use of mobile devices radically changes the way we learn through enhanced motivation to learn and new possibilities for personalised and group learning. RIX has developed the best practice model for implementing personalised learning with tablets using person-centred multimedia advocacy approaches and tools.  These approaches empower individuals to take control of their lives, and to communicate and fully engage with their learning.

IncluEdu has designed a range of competence based courses that enable teachers and educators to successfully introduce tablets and mobile ICT into their teaching and learning. Our courses help teachers to become more effective educators who can activate and empower their learners using tablets and mobile devices.

The Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) in the United States has given its prestigious International Service Award to Andy Minnion MBE, Professor of Media Advocacy at RIX Research & Media; this is the first time that the Award has been given to an individual based outside the US.  The Award recognises outstanding contributions that further programmes or policies designed to create more inclusive communities for people with disabilities and their families throughout the world.  It honours Andy Minnion’s exceptional work in the field of new media and inclusive research, development and knowledge exchange.

The AUCD International Service Award nomination stated:  “Andy works as a researcher, lecturer, workshop leader, and producer of new media. He has been responsible for developing the ‘Multimedia Advocacy’ approach at the RIX Centre, whereby people with disabilities use self-made media to take greater control of their own lives and challenge their social exclusion.  He has led research and knowledge exchange project work in this field since 2001. Andy’s work with RIX draws support from UK and EU research as well as charitable and commercial activity and engages with local and national government policy makers, academia, business and industry, alongside people with intellectual disabilities and their families.”

Professor Andy Minnion said: “I am delighted and deeply honoured to receive this award.  There is so much excellent work being done around the world to drive positive change in the lives of people with learning disabilities and their families.  New media technology is enabling better communication and ever greater levels of self-directed support and I’m incredibly proud of the work that we do at RIX at the forefront of this change.  Since last year, we have been working in partnership with the Westchester Institute for Human Development in New York State as well as the Federal Administration on Community Living, to introduce a Multimedia Approach to self-advocacy for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to the US.”

Accepting the Award, Andy Minnion highlighted that RIX, based at the University of East London (UEL), shared the values and goals of the 67 University Centres for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDDs) across the US that comprise the AUCD network.  RIX and AUCD share the unwavering commitment to person-centred working and the promotion of self-advocacy for people with disabilities that are at the heart of RIX’s approach.  He also drew a parallel between the Kennedy family, which has always championed the cause of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the US, and the RIX family in the UK.  Both families include members with intellectual disabilities and have fought for the rights of the people with intellectual disabilities in public and policy circles, in each case helping to build significant changes to attitude and support provision for this community.  President Jack Kennedy first instituted the UCEDDs in 1963 and Lord Brian RIX was instrumental in the establishment of the UK Charity Mencap, as well as the RIX Centre at UEL in the UK.

Andy Minnion has dedicated the Award to Lord Brian RIX, his family and his tireless campaign for people with disabilities in the UK as well as to the dozens of people with intellectual disabilities who have worked with the RIX Research & Media centre at UEL since the work started.

RIX Media has now launched the new RIX Wiki. This uses HTML5 technology so that it is more responsive across all platforms and has a number of significant enhancements.

All our current customers will have their existing RIX Wikis moved over to the new format. This means that you can benefit from the improvements and additional functionality of the new technology as soon as possible.

We have scheduled this move to take place from 10.00am on Thursday 29 October to 9.00am on Monday 2 November. Please note that you will NOT be able to access your Wiki during this time as RIX Media will be working hard behind the scenes to ensure the transition to the new RIX Wikis happens smoothly.

We know how important our customers’ Wikis are and we have kept the time needed to complete the transition as short as we can. We ask that you please bear with us while we make these exciting changes.

From 9.00am on Monday 2 November, you will be able to log in on a new website – www.rixwiki.org – using your existing log in details.

All the current content on your RIX Wiki will still be there – you won’t lose any information. But you’ll find the following improvements once you’ve logged on to your new RIX Wiki.

• The fully-flexible software gives users interactive access and seamless management of all your wiki content, wherever you are and on whatever devices you use.

• The new RIX Wiki enables you to make your wiki completely personal. The pages of content can be organised and re-organised in any order to highlight important information.

• You can use sections and sub-sections to organise your content, where multiple links such as Google maps, and multiple files in any format can be added.

• Video can be uploaded (from YouTube, Vimeo or personal film) and images can be added, cropped and rotated from any device; the software ensures any picture or clip is clearly viewable on any platform.

• All the information on RIX Wikis is private and secure and you can choose what information your share and with whom. You can be very selective, deciding to share only specific sections or even just specific information within those sections.

• It has an automated text to speech feature; this can be personalised so that viewers of the wiki can hear your voice, or the voice of someone you choose.

We’ve put together a series of videos to help you find out about the new format and ensure you can make the most of the new functions. Click this link to learn more Wiki Master Videos

If you have any questions or concerns, please call 020 8223 7561 or email rixadmin@uel.ac.uk

Charlton Park Academy, an extremely successful, oversubscribed secondary special academy within the Royal Borough of Greenwich, has fully adopted the unique multimedia advocacy approach developed by RIX Research & Media. The School uses RIX Wikis for all 240 of its pupils and this year’s Ofsted Residential Inspection Report has highlighted how the use of Wikis has enabled very effective person-centred planning.

The Ofsted report for Charlton Park Academy confirmed that:

“Residential care plans now include an explanation of how staff are to engage and ensure that they plan care to include students and that plans are as accessible as possible. The school has exceeded this suggestion in the development of safe online individual forums, called ‘wikis’, for sharing plans and achievements. These student-led and created websites have enabled grandparents living overseas to also share in the celebrations of residential students’ progress. This technology and empowering process gives control of plans to residential students and means that students can define their own identity, hopes and aspirations.”

Earlier this year, Kathryn Stowell, Head of Outreach and AAC at Charlton Park Academy, held a live webinar to share her experience of using RIX Wikis within a school environment. You can see the webinar here

RIX Wikis have now been adopted by around ten Local Authorities and over 100 schools and organisations in the UK, EU, US and Australia to embed person-centred approaches. These services and organisations are actively working with RIX Wikis to support individuals with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities to live the lives that they want to lead.