My Blossom Channel allows young people with intellectual disabilities from across Ireland to avail of the valuable skills training courses from the Blossom Personal Empowerment Programme®– something young people in Dublin have done since 2016.
The skills range from social skills, community life skills and preparing for life after school. My Blossom Channel is an innovative way of delivering Blossom Ireland’s programme through a blend of online learning activities, weekly video challenges and weekly group meet-ups. It uses engaging graphics, video, audio and games to make it fully accessible to non-readers and those with limited means of communication – something unique in the online learning space.
My Blossom Channel has received an AONTAS STAR AWARD 2021 in the Mitigating Against Educational Disadvantage through Innovation Category, recognising our work in developing accessible online education.
Key Elements: My Blossom Channel
Participants are supported by their Champion – a parent, sibling, friend or SNA – during the course and beyond as specific training is provided as the start of the course.
‘Everybody needs a champion, the person that is there to support you and cheer you on when you are trying something new or difficult. The champion is the person that can help accessing the course online; with organisation and planning and will support the participants with the weekly challenge.
Sometimes the Champion might just be required for a friendly ear or a word of encouragement. Each champion is bound to bring something unique and must have the belief that the young person they are supporting can achieve great things.’ Imelda, Programme Director
The Learn Lab
The learning platform uses engaging graphics, video and audio to make it fully accessible to non-readers and those with limited means of communication – something unique in the online learning space.
The fun and interactive content will guide the young person through the learning objectives. The content can be watched as many times as is necessary during the week.
The Weekly Challenge
Each week there will be short learning challenge relevant to the content learned. Each participant will be asked to carry out the learning task and have it videoed by their champion. This is an opportunity for the participants to see their progress on screen and they can share their videos during the weekly Meet-Up if they wish.
The Weekly Meet-Ups
The weekly Meet-Ups are facilitated by a trained and experienced Blossom Ireland tutor. Depending on the groups, they may be conducted online or face-to-face. They will be an opportunity for a social check in, go over key concepts for the week and most importantly create friendships.
They are a fun and interactive moment for the participants to learn with the group and have some fun together.
The Assertiveness course supports young people with ID to speak up about themselves and share their opinion over 7 weeks.
- Unit 1: Introduction to the objectives of the course and how to navigate the learning platform
- Unit 2: About me – learn about the power of sharing about yourself safely!
- Unit 3: My Character Strengths – what are they and which ones are mine?
- Unit 4: Likes & Dislikes – Tell us more about yourself!
- Unit 5: Getting my point across – The power of opinions.
- Unit 6: Telling others about me – It’s time to share your Big 6!
The course explores over 8 weeks the topic of disability in a broad sense and what it means to each young person on the course.
- Unit 1: Introduction
- Unit 2: Let’s talk about disability
- Unit 3: My Supports
- Unit 4: Celebrating disabilities!
- Unit 5: Making Decisions
- Unit 6: My Voice
- Unit 7: My Story
Pre-requisite: we highly recommend that participants have completed Blossom Ireland Assertiveness Course before starting Uniquely Me.
Criteria of Suitability for Courses
It is important that before signing up each participant meets the following criteria:
- Are aged between 14-25
- Have an intellectual disability
- Have a designated Champion to provide support during the duration of the course
- Are available along with their Champion for two hours each week (one hour of self-paced learning and one hour for the scheduled weekly Meet-up)
- Have access to the Internet and to a device (laptop or tablet)
Places will be allocated on a first come first served basis once all forms and payment have been received.
“Blossom Ireland has aced it once again with its online Assertiveness Course. The platform is perfect for Covid and afterwards. My son thought about who he is in a structured and fun way as well as growing in confidence and learning online skills – we both loved it. I am excited by the opportunities this presents for my son – while not entirely independent, he is not far off and the sky seems the limit with this approach.”
“I met new friends, felt very comfortable and welcomed. Thanks to the course, I’ve learned about my strengths – I’m calm and understanding and I have courage even when I’m nervous.”
“I was a Champion for my younger brother for the assertiveness course. I supported and helped him through this course as best as I could! He really enjoyed the Assertiveness Course, he has developed new skills and confidence when speaking about himself and I could not be happier about this. Thank you Blossom Ireland for this great opportunity, my brother was engaged with it throughout the six weeks and will miss it when it is over!”
“My SUNFLOWER has blossomed, it’s been an amazing experience to see my daughter’s confidence growing a lot more; questions are been asked: what are my opinions, what are my feelings. It is so wonderful to see such amazing emotional intelligence been given a voice. To see her engaging with ideas, opinions and self expression is what I have wished for her, and now it is a reality, my heart felt thank you to the Blossom team!”
“I had a great time on the course, I have gained new skills, improved my confidence and had a great time with my friends during the weekly meetup. Thank you Blossom Ireland for a fantastic course and an awesome six weeks, I will miss it when it is over!”
“He was a little nervous and anxious about starting the course, but once he met the team and saw how things were done, he felt very welcome and much more at ease. He then became eager and excited to meet up each week, and enjoyed the experience.”
“I would recommend this course to all my friends who like me enjoy having fun while learning.”
“My son depends on me very much and frequently rejects help from his dad and siblings. It was lovely to watch him learn that he has many supports within the family through this journey with his brother who was his champion. He learnt to lean on and trust his brother as a support. Their relationship has truly benefited from your course.”
Dormant Accounts Fund
This project was approved by Government with support from the Dormant Accounts Fund.