The LUDI Chair Professor Serenella Besio was invited with the research project “LUDI – Play for Children with Disabilities” at the European Conference for Science Journalists – ECSJ2017, that occured in Copenhagen, between the 26th and the 29th June 2017.
LUDI had been one of the 9 Research Actions identified by the European COST Program, among the almost 150 currently active, to be presented at the important event of scientific dissemination. The conference focused on three main themes that relate to the communicative role of journalists: new media, the climate of the earth, responsibility in information. The event programme is available here.
Play of children with disabilities, studied by LUDI, was included in the latter group since it requires journalists to «get the nuances to the role of science in society», so that «science will be covered in the best possible way». Paraphrasing Shakespeare: “children are such stuff as play is made on”.
Play is vital for children with disabilities as for any other child: but often play becomes difficult for them due to their functional limitations, or because the world of objects and gazes around them is not accessible and welcoming enough, or even because adults do not know how to play and to teach to play with them, in an inventive, fun and inclusive way. The world of children with disabilities should not only be made of educational and rehabilitative exercises and goals – as it may seem by observing their busy days. Like any other child, they have the right to play, to leisure time, to have fun, to build on, by playing, their own development.
And this is exactly what LUDI is currently studying: accessibility of play, playgrounds, and toys; play evaluation methods and playful interaction strategies; teachers’ and professionals’ training; extension and fulfillment of the child’s rights. All these themes will be discussed in Copenhagen.
The abstract of the presentation is available here