SAA – Smart Against Ageism

Smart Against Ageism (SAA)

SAA project logo

Client / Funding programme:

Erasmus+, KA220-ADU – Cooperation partnerships in adult education 2021

Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Commission. Neither the European Union nor the European Commission can be held responsible for them.

Start and end dates:
01-01-2022 – 01-07-2024


AFEdemy role in the project:

The e-Learning Platform is a common output of all partners. The interactive learning platform, with the game at its centre, demands the different competences of partners. In the preparation phase, the AFEdemy as Project Result (PR) leader will develop a work plan including the technical implementation steps and deadlines of the learning platform. Jointly with the colleagues as experts in ageist attitudes and behaviours in their specific working fields, the PR leader will also create guidelines for the conduction of workshops. These guidelines will specify the selection of participants, contents and methods of co-creation as well as the assessment of the activity.

☐ Curriculum development
e-Learning Platform
☐ Networking
Policy recommendation
☐ Sustainability


The ageism concept is related to stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination. Essentially, influences how we think, feel and act towards others or oneself based on age. Structural ageism is a form of systematic stereotyping and discrimination and can be defined as a way in which society and its institutions sustain ageist attitudes. It can be found, among others, in the legal system, the media and the economy, but also in the Third Sector. Ageism causes a massive impact in the society, influencing how we view ourselves and the possibility of considering what other persons (younger or older) can contribute to the society. This type of discrimination can impact population health, longevity and well-being while also having far-reaching economic consequences.

Smart Against Ageism (SAA) aims to contribute to a better social inclusion of older adults whose risks to suffer from functional restrictions, chronic diseases, and disability increase with increasing age; by doing so, we intend to contribute to restore their image as full citizens and see our communities’ benefit from their potential as we remove the barriers to their social participation.

An interactive learning platform, a high-quality learning game and accompanying material will be made available for informal and non-formal learning free of charge. Besides the broad public, the project explicitly addresses persons engaged in social and healthcare organisations who are essential contacts for older people but also not free of stereotypes.

The educational game will be designed according to the approach of lifelong learning in adult education. The game will introduce the users to the perspectives of people concerned by or at risk of discrimination and segregation, and will thus contribute to developing empathy, tolerance of diversity and civil society skills.

The SAA educational game will be oriented at the needs of volunteers, formal and informal carers, assistants, staff with diverse professional backgrounds (janitors, social workers etc.) and family members of older adults. Also, learners with low qualifications will be given the opportunity to work on topics and contents independently.

The SAA educational game and accompanying material will be available at the interactive learning platform. This tool will offer different types of users learning material and information. The player will be able to move independently within the different sections, obtain background information and gain experience from the perspective of persons who are discriminated against.


The overall objective of the SAA project is to strengthen the competences of volunteers and staff of different professions in social and healthcare organisations, older adults themselves, and the broad public in becoming aware of the pervasiveness of ageism in all spheres of society. Those who know and respect the rules for debates on critical topics can confidently advocate for change. Knowledge about ageism and familiarity with strategies to tackle these phenomena open up the opportunity to work for more equality and social inclusion.

In this context, education must address topics under discussion, help out identify stigmatising situations as well as to assess their impact. Responses to counter ageism will promote critical thinking and encourage learners to develop their empathy and acceptance of human diversity.

AFE Related Topics

☐ Outdoor spaces and buildings
Social participation
☐ Transport and mobility
Social inclusion and non-discrimination
☐ Housing
☐ Civic engagement and employment
☐ Communication and information
☐ Community and health services

Target audience

The interactive learning platform offers multimedia-based learning experiences to the users. Its core will be the interactive learning game.

It is explicitly addressing volunteers, staff and decision-makers in social and healthcare, but also intends to attract persons who are not inclined to participate in formal or non-formal adult education offers.


Project coordination:

  • ISIS, Institut für Soziale Infrastruktur GmbH (Germany)

Project partners:

  • AFEdemy, Academy on Age-Friendly Environments in Europe BV (The Netherlands)
  • AGE Platform Europe (Belgium)
  • Alzheimer Bulgaria Association (Bulgaria)
  • Asociacija “Senjorų iniciatyvų centras” (Lithuania)
  • EAEA, European Association for the Education of Adults (Belgium)
  • SHINE 2Europe, LDA (Portugal)

Project results

Four project results will be elaborated in the project:

  • Compendium “Responding to Ageism”
  • Interactive learning platform
  • Toolkit for trainers
  • Recommendations for policy-makers


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AFEdemy, Academy on Age-Friendly Environments in Europe B. V.

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