RIX Research & Media’s Multimedia Advocacy approach has been recognised by the German government as an example of international best practice in the field of inclusion. We were honoured to be invited to present at the Inclusion Days 2017 Conference in Berlin, alongside leaders in inclusion practice and research from across the globe.

The conference, which took place on 4th & 5th December, was held at the Berlin Congress Centre and brought together an audience of policy makers and practitioners interested in improving people’s physical access to services, information and education.

Acting Director of RIX Research Gosia Kwiatkowska attended the conference to help deliver a presentation as part of the European SOIL project consortium.

Gosia also delivered a presentation along with Kathryn Stowell from Charlton Park Academy entitled ‘Multimedia Advocacy & RIX Wikis’. The presentation was delivered to 80 people as part of a panel forum. They talked about the person-centred principles of Multimedia Advocacy and how these can be applied in education to support inclusion for people with intellectual disabilities, speakers of other languages and migrant communities.

Gosia said “It’s been a fantastic conference, and a powerful platform to disseminate and promote adoption of these inclusive education practices that have the real potential to change lives and improve outcomes for the individual.”

The presentation was well received and stimulated a lot of interest and discussion from an audience that included the German Minster of Education.

The RIX approach is described on page 50 & 51 of the published conference papers.

RIX Wiki Evaluation 2017 – Early Findings

Free Webinar with live Q&A

Aired: Thursday 7th December 2017,  13:00 – 13:30

Professor Andy Minnion discusses how Camden are  transforming accessible information to complement their Local Offer with Richard Lohan, Accessible Information Officer at the London Borough of Camden.

EARLY FINDINGS: RIX WIKI EVALUATION 2017

In this webinar, we discuss the emerging findings from our recent evaluation of the use of RIX Wikis in various UK Local Authorities in recent years.

Our research is highlighting improvements in Communication and Advocacy PLUS Cost Savings and Efficiencies that Local Authorities from our community of practice have realised through the adoption of Multimedia Advocacy and RIX Wikis. This webinar will look at our key findings that include:

  • How Local Authorities are using RIX Wikis to provide Accessible Information, signposting people to services and information to complement and improve the Local Offer.
  • How RIX Wikis have improved Communication between providers and families, meeting SEND Reform aspirations for less adversarial interaction between families and local authorities with reduced disputes and tribunals.
  • How further Efficiencies and Cost Savings are being achieved through improved administration and a reduced need for meetings and paperwork.

 

Links referred to in the webinar:

Camden’s RIX Wiki information portal:

https://www.rixwiki.org/camden/all-our-wikis/

 

RIX Wiki’s embedded into the Camden local offer website:

http://cindex.camden.gov.uk/kb5/camden/cd/advice.page?id=sKy7Tk8j30U

Mathisis logo

www.mathisis-project.eu/en

RIX Research were in Madrid last week for the MaTHiSiS project partner meeting. The meeting of the project’s 18 collaborating organisations from 9 different EU Member States dovetailed with the beginning of an exciting phase of project activity, the start of the ‘Assisted Pilots’.

MaTHiSiS consortium in Madrid

The Assisted Pilots will see the uniquely innovative prototype MaTHiSiS educational platform piloted in a wide range of settings. RIX Research is coordinating the pilots in London that will look specifically at the use of the MaTHiSiS platform with target groups with PMLD and ASD. We are really excited to discover how this innovative software, which has a unique algorithm that has been developed to work with a camera to capture the ‘affect state’ of the learner and then adjust their learning tasks appropriately, will work with this particular group of learners who can be extremely difficult to read, reach and understand.

By automatically adjusting the skills and levels of learning according to the feelings and emotions captured – for example is the learner happy, frustrated, engaged, motivated – the MaTHiSiS platform has the potential to achieve genuinely personalised learning that is engaging, enabling and truly inclusive.  

The MaTHiSiS educational platform aims to provide every type of learner, in every type of setting, on the device they have at their disposal, with a bespoke, individualised learning experience that is adapted to their personal requirements. This ambitious 3 year project expects to have a version of the platform market ready for commercial exploitation by December 2019.

You can read more about the project and RIX Research here:

www.rixresearchandmedia.org/mathisis

The purpleSTARS advisory group launched a forthcoming project with the Glenside Hospital Museum in Bristol with a kick-off planning session earlier this week. Stella Man, who runs the museum, visited RIX Research & Media at UEL for the meeting, which scoped out how between January and September 2018 the purpleSTARS Archive & Sensory Teams will visit Glenside and train a team of 5 local people with learning disabilities to work with the RIX Wiki software to make a sensory expedition trail of the museum. This work also plans to feature an App that will be made available to Museum visitors.

purpleSTARS brings together a group of artists and technologists with and without learning difficulties/disabilities to transform museum experiences and make them really inclusive. They use sensory and digital media to create alternative interpretations of museum collections.

The purpleSTARS Archive Team are part of the ‘Access All Areas’ theatre group. They have become Wiki experts over the course of working on a number of RIX Research projects, all connected to museums and archiving.

The purpleSTARS advisory group at the British Museum

RIX Research are delighted to be working once again with the University of Reading to extend the benefits of the award-winning AHRC funded ‘Sensory Objects’ project, through the 1 year Sensory Objects Enterprise 2017/18 AHRC follow on funding grant. The purpleSTARS enterprise are the start-up enterprise that has been created with the help of this grant. The project with Glenside Hospital Museum is one of the purpleSTARS first archiving and sensory commissions.

Read our account of the purpleSTARS enterprise project HERE, or visit the purpleSTARS or Sensory Objects website for further information, or to commission the purpleSTARS to make a sensory expedition to your museum.

www.puzzle-project.eu

 

After two years of working in partnership with specialist organisations in Greece, Poland, Lithuania and Sweden, 3rd November was officially the final day of the Erasmus + funded Puzzle Project.

Here at RIX Research Prof. Andy Minnion marked the end of the project with by presenting the final outcomes to the wider RIX Team. We learnt about how the project has really interrogated ideas of Easy to Read and looked at how to make information for people with intellectual disabilities more inclusive, especially in the area of improving people with intellectual disabilities understanding of Human Rights and self-advocacy. Read about the outcomes, access the resources and find out more about Human Rights on the Puzzle website.

 

We were delighted that so many of you were able to attend our Community Event on 10th October. It was a really stimulating and inspiring session and for that we’d like to thank our presenters: Charlie Connor and Rachel Frogatt from West Sussex, Jeannie Donald-Mckim from Abingdon Witney College in Oxfordshire and Tiffany Middleton from Hillyfields School in Waltham Forest.

Rachel and Charlie represent West Sussex

Also a big thank you to self-advocates Amiee & Connor from The Baked Bean Company in Wandsworth and, Rufaro, Lee and Paul from Access All Areas and Santino from the Central & North West London Recovery College for their fantastic presentations.

Santino, Lee, Rufaro and Paul presenting their project about Brian RIX

Santino, Lee, Rufaro and Paul presenting their project about Brian RIX

We hope that those who attended were able to capture some useful strategies and ideas for maximising Wiki take up to take forward in their local contexts and settings.  Here are some notes from our workshop session on the day.

 

We look forward to seeing you at our next Community Event, which will take place in early 2018.

When: 15th May 2017

Where: RIX Research and Media, University of East London

Who: It’s an open invitation to our Innovation Lab, so if you use Wikis you are welcome! We send out information about our events but contact us if you want to make sure you’re in on the next one.

 

What’s it all about? 

The purpose of the RIX Wiki Innovation Lab is to share future developments and improvements planned for RIX Wikis. As well as us sharing our progress with you, we heard from our Wiki users and shared ideas to help inform the next stage of development for the Wikis. Basically, how can we make them better!

The day is really informal and fun (we hope!). It is a chance for us to share and discuss together new ideas about the Wikis. We use lots of post it notes and drawings to record our thoughts so we can reflect on them. In each innovation lab we cover slightly different themes, in this lab we discussed the following:

  • Your ideas for Wiki tweaks
  • What’s new from us
  • Sharing a Wiki – How and Why?
  • Sharing Wiki data with other softwares – What are the benefits and for who?

 

Report from the Day

We started things off by adding to our Wiki tweaks ideas board and thinking about anything that could improve the Wiki. In this lab we had suggestions about events we could run to spread the word about Wikis, as well as using a messaging feature within the wiki and linking to Google Translate.

 

Wiki tweaks board

 

We then gave your our news. We shared with you the improvements we’d made to adding videos to a Wiki (they now process much faster!) and demonstrated the download an offline version of the Wiki as a PDF document in which we had some really useful feedback.

 

 

The theme of the day was sharing a Wiki, so we asked everyone how Wikis were being shared with them, or how they were sharing their own Wikis and who with.  Did they share with people in person? Did they use the invite feature? Who is sharing with you?

We explored the current RIX Wiki invite feature and how we could help users make ‘informed’ sharing decisions and help them to understand how professionals are engaging with a young person’s Wiki.

We had great insights on this from people who were sharing Wikis and those who were having Wikis shared with them.

 

 

We then started to think about sharing Wikis and their content in a wider context. An expert in this kind of sharing, Paul Downton, shared with us a future roadmap where Wikis are central to other systems and data. This would mean that Wiki users have more choice of what information they can import to their Wiki and also different ways they can share or export things from their Wiki to other people. The response to this presentation was really positive, and people clearly resonated with some of the problems Paul described about sharing data in the place that you work. We think it will make a great addition to our next innovation lab to explore this in more depth.

 

Illustration of how Wikis might integrate with other software

 

As always, this innovation lab was a very interesting session and we left with some key insights in where we are going next and some further plans for our next lab.  We will be releasing details of the next event soon – we hope to see you there!   In the meantime, if you do have any suggestions for the RIX Wiki we are always happy to take note – just drop us an e-mail at:  support@rixhelp.org

 

A RIX Research and Media ‘Talking Heads’ discussion between three Local Authority SEND implementation leads in different regions.

 

 

Local Authority Perspectives: a different approach to Education, Health and Care planning

Free Webinar with live Q&A

Aired: Thursday 20th April 2017:  13:00 – 13:30

 

Since the Children and Families Act (2014) and the SEND code of practice have come into effect, Local Authorities have been grappling with significant and challenging changes that will deliver the requirements for individuals with special educational needs and disabilities.

This legislation places emphasis on finding ways of capturing the voice and aspirations of children and young people with SEND to inform the EHC planning process. And this requires a new approach.

In this webinar, we’ll look at the impact that Local Authorities from our community of practice have realised, through the adoption of Multimedia Advocacy and RIX Wikis.

 

This panel discussion will help you understand: 

Innovative approaches adopted by Local Authorities to put families and young people with complex needs in control of their information

How Local Authorities are capturing the voice of these individuals and their approach to sharing this information.

The efficiency and effectiveness impact to EHC planning

Give you the opportunity to have your questions answered

 

About RIX Research and Media:

RIX Research & Media has been pioneering inclusive and co-produced technology to put children & young people with disabilities and their families, in control of their information and share their needs and aspirations for over 15 years. RIX Research & Media is engaged with a range of inclusive research projects across the UK, Europe and the US in addition to working with 20 Local Authorities in the UK.

Contact us for details of how to apply for the co-developed ‘Doing Things Differently’ Research Partnership

Gosia presenting a slide titled 'All About me' to a room of people

 

This year’s BETT Show was bigger than ever and RIX Research & Media were delighted to be invited to present at this important event in the Education calendar.

The 2017 BETT Show (previously known as the British Educational Training and Technology Show) took place in January, attracting over 30,000 visitors over four days and was attended by teachers, educators, technologists and decision makers from the UK and overseas. It was the perfect environment in which to showcase the ‘Multimedia Advocacy Pathway to Personalised Learning’ – a theoretical learning pathway and suite of accompanying modules specially developed by RIX Research to help educators use mobile technologies to achieve genuinely personalised teaching & learning.

Principal Researcher Gosia Kwiatkowska presented the Pathway to an audience of education professionals on the ‘SEN Learn Live’ stage. She described how this innovative model brings together for the first time three underlying sets of principles; those of person-centred practice; universal design for learning and Multimedia Advocacy. These guiding principles underpin each step on a learning pathway made up of 14 short modules covering 4 units or stages; ‘About Me’; ‘Getting to Know Me’; ‘My Needs and Taking Control’
As educators follow the stages of the Pathway they understand how to employ person-centred tools alongside mobile apps and technologies to firstly know their learners and keep them actively involved at the centre, driving their own learning. As they find out more about their learners’ needs they start to apply the principles of universal design for learning, again using different tools and mobile technologies to adapt both their teaching and the learning environment to accommodate different learning styles and create personalised learning episodes that keep the learner activated and engaged. The final steps of the Pathway bring an understanding of rights and how these tools can be used to empower the learner to advocate for themselves and truly take control of their learning.

The Multimedia Advocacy Pathway to Personalised Learning was developed by RIX Research as part of IncluEdu, an international corporation project funded by the European Commission. You can find out more about IncluEdu, including how to apply for an Erasmus mobility grant to attend the IncluEdu Tablet in Education courses, on the IncluEdu website www.incluedu.com.