Since its founding in 1992 the Estonian Reading Association has closely collaborated with various universities and especially with Tallinn University.

Many of the members as well as board members have been employees at Tallinn University. Together we have organized conferences, seminars, trainings, exhibitions and more. Also, the 4th Baltic Sea Conference on Literacy takes place at Tallinn University and in mutual collaboration. As a bonus, it will be possible to acquaint yourself with thematic exhibition.

Exhibition “Inclusive LIFE”

Tallinn University’s interdisciplinary subject Learning in Interdisciplinary Focused Environment (LIFE) has for many years been providing students’ LIFE projects with study books, films and apps, a cognitive wall and several other multisensory aids that are primarily intended for students with special needs but can also be used by other students.

In 2005, one of the tasks of Tiia Artla, a lecturer in handicraft technology and folk art at Tallinn University, was to make tactile books with pictures that students could use by touching. In cooperation with students, over a hundred tactile books have reached The Estonian Library for the Blind and schools.

When the university started with LIFE projects in 2017, Tiia Artla, in collaboration with Jana Kadastik, a PhD student at the Institute of Educational Sciences, started thinking about how students could create teaching aids for students with different special needs in LIFE projects.

There are a number of exciting books that tell well-known stories in Estonia, such as “The Ugly Duckling” or “Mutionu pidu (The mole`s party). In addition to books, students have also made video clips. This approach allows a unique sensory book to be introduced to a wider audience through video, and visually impaired people can listen to stories in addition to the book.

In addition to children, adults also enjoy watching and listening to them. In cooperation with students, a wide variety of teaching aids have been developed for people with special needs. A few years ago, a sensory/tactile wall was created for Porkuni School Supporting students, with educational tools that cater to their special needs. In addition, mathematics teaching aids for primary school level and a “Magic Case” with games and teaching aids have been created to support and diversify learning. 

The learning tools developed in inclusive LIFE are based on research and everyday practice. An important part is also getting feedback on the tools created through the user experience.

The initiators of the LIFE project “Inclusive Life” are Tiia Artla, lecturer in handicraft technology and folk art at Tallinn University, and Jana Kadastik, a doctoral student at the Institute of Educational Sciences, whose research explores the creation of teaching aids as a user-centered design process.

During the lunch breaks on 18th and 19th January the exhibition will be introduced to conference participants by guides Beatriss Paulin and Kerttu Geidik.