Who is considered a migrant with special needs?

To begin with “migrant” is used to describe people with a foreign citizenship registered in a host country. “Migrants with special (or additional) needs” refer to migrants who have non-immigration related needs that require extra assistance when interacting with areas of society and daily life (such as healthcare, and language and integration programs). These can include those:

  • With non-normative abilities (e.g., physical, or mental disability).
  • Who have dependents which restrict professional or personal development due to caretaking responsibilities.
  • With experience of traumatic situations in their home country or discrimination.
  • With experience of psychological difficulties.
How are the number of migrants with special need calculated across Europe?

Our research has shown that there is a general lack of statistical information collected concerning migrants with special needs across Europe. The number of individuals with disabilities and the number of migrants are both recorded separately, however no measure exists combining these two.

As a consequence, we have calculated the number of migrants with special needs across each partner country using a 2011 report from the World Health Organisation (WHO, 2011) that estimated around 15% of any population has disabilities.

The calculation was as follows:

Number of migrants X 0.15

**Note**This however does not take into account individuals with other types of special needs that we also include in our target group.

What does digital inclusion mean?

In the rapidly developing technical world societies are beginning to rely more and more on digital services. This comes with advantages of being able to support people at a distance and ensuring uniformity in standards of teaching material.

These provide additional advantages especially for individuals with special needs due to the flexibility of digital services, however this area is not particularly developed. Teachers often have to learn to use these services in their own time and there is a general lack of training for adapting digital services to those with special needs.

The aim with digital inclusion is helping teachers learn how to adapt and flexibly use digital services to ensure that individuals with special needs receive the same quality of education and inclusion as those without special needs.

What difficulties do individuals with special needs face with online learning tools?

Through extensive interviews and desk research the project team looked into many potential difficulties that migrants with special needs can face with online learning tools. Here are some highlights from the research (read the full report here for much more information)

  • Lack of digital resources appropriately designed for migrants with special needs.
  • Underprepared and under skilled professionals working with migrants with special needs.
  • Substantial bullying (that can and does take place online)
Where can I find useful digital tools for people and migrants with special needs?

During our research phase, each partner country collected useful digital tools for migrants with special needs (both to use independently but also to be used by advisers/educators when working with them). These tools have been compiled into a searchable format with a lot of extra information about each one that you can find here.

Where can I find useful digital tools for people and migrants with special needs?

Through our research we have found that teachers in the partner countries are dedicated to helping their students and have often made use of different resources with various amounts of success. Examples of digital solutions being used for this population now are:

  • Digital classrooms – designed for the general population but efforts are made to adapt this by the teachers.
  • Messaging services, especially using video chat services
  • Podcasts and videos are useful to integrate into lessons because of the engaging nature of the content.
  • Google tools
  • One-to-one counselling
  • E-learning modules
  • Specialised tuition

Read the full report for a more detailed explanation of our findings.