Space Station annual report on Instagram

Of the twelve thousand persons in The Netherlands  who live with a profound learning disability, only sixteen  have gone on to mainstream adult education and obtained their diploma. These exceptional  students  completed their studies in Scalda College Goes  in June 2013. The annual report 2013 of the Space Station Foundation documents their progress and tells the story of a wild and exciting journey that stretched from Zeeland to Jamaica, from Africa to the wilds of the outback.  There were ocean crossings, sun- drenched resorts and wild storms. Wild bears had to be confronted.  Mountains had to be climbled  and bridges built. The Space Station crew were proud to support the students endeavours, to foster their ambitions and to facilitate their imaginary journey.

Space Station is a voluntary  Dutch foundation which relies mostly on corporate finance and adheres to the principles of the UN Charter for Inclusion. Space Station, like the UN, fully supports an end to all segregated education and activities on the grounds of disability or learning difficulty. It envisages a gradual transfer of resources from segregated special schools to an inclusive mainstream. In 2013 the foundation published its newly-developed curriculum which addresses the strengths and support needs of adults with an IQ between 20 -25. Now they have just published their dramatic annual report on Instagram.

A new departure

Space Station Annual Report 2013 is a new departure for the foundation. In its style and tone, it moves away from the traditional over-loaded formats that can bog down any report. The report, entitled Explore more, targets as its potential consumer  not the avid reader but  the app. user. Communicating with an alerter, more impatient and more  international audience, the volunteers chose the Instagram app. and English as the medium of communication. If a picture paints  a thousand words, then this graphic report boasts an impressive 52,000 words. Space Station shares 52 images – one for every week. The images explain the new curriculum and  clarify the storyline. Most especially the Instragram photo’s  enhance and  promote the achievements of the students who together with the Space Station crew developed the ground-breaking curriculum Count me in in 2013.The curriculum consists of 60 drama workshops spread out over a three year period and uses the arts and sensory experiences to enable the learning process. The students who complete the course successfully earn their diploma. The magazine which Space Station published in Oktober 2013 lists the skills and experiences which a succesful candidate  must master.   At Space Station the volunteers want to make a real difference by creating a better world through inclusive education.

No bullets

Each image in the annual report  tells a story, every one is accompanied by a short slightly punctuated commentary  that illucidatesthe 2013 educational activities. The report contains no bullets, no lists,no underlining.  The Instagram page is linked to supportive  documents  such as the My Space publication and  the presentation of the new methodological approach to the teaching of the new learners -  as presented during the International Disability Conference in November 2013.  What you click is what you get.

Performance highlights

The annual report 2013 is fuelled by the performance highlights of the students. Up until now,  students with such intensive support needs  have been unable to access any form of mainstream education because there was no offer available. With their activities and insights, the Space Station volunteers act from a human rights perspective.

Watch your words

The language that has developed in the  Space Station classroom seems to be a kind of pre-verbal vocabulary  that builds on the senses and which is accessable and comprehensible  to  the mostly language-less students. Light and dark,touch and go, movement and stillness, fabrics of various consistenties  all help create a theatrical language that can be learned and enjoyed by everyone. If the new curriculum relies heavily on the arts – theatre, music , expressionism -  it is especially embued in word watching: one does not need to comprehend words in order to  grasp their meaning and understand their significance: just watch them. The language of colour or the touch of a loved one or the beat of a drum , for example,  can be understood without recourse to the usual linguistic signifiers. This of course is a truth which Winnie the Pooh pointed out so long ago: How do you spell love, Piglet asked. You don’t spell it, you feel it, answered Pooh.

During the Space Station drama workshops , the students were encouraged to feel everything.


Space Station publishes its annual report 2013 with a view to increased visibility and improved inter-active communication with and betweeen the supporters who care about educating persons with a profound disability. The longterm aim of its social media presence is  to open up channels of influence for the students and followers and to offer a platform to discuss issues around inclusive education, human rights, disability, easy giving and volunteering. In the course of 2014, the report points out, the Dutch-based organization hopes  to recruit a volunteer social media expert who will transform its media presence into an effective strategy of engagement, impact and awareness.  

Learn more

Each image in Space Station’s  Instagram annual report  folds over into a two word clear invitation to the mobile phone user to join in, to sense the difference and to get involved. Who can refuse such an invitation:

Explore more. Teach more .Give more .Discern more. Discover more. Feel more.  Be more.

To learn more, to see more, click here:

For further information , please contact chairwoman of the Board:

 Marian van der Meij. Tel 00 31 6 10887610. Email: