ATLEC - Assistive Technology Learning Through A Unified Curriculum
Sun, 01/01/2012 - Fri, 28/02/2014
firstname.lastname@example.org (Karel Van Isacker, CEO PhoenixKM BVBA)
Studies throughout Europe under ACCESSIBLE and AEGIS (FP7 projects), and KA3 project ImPaCT highlighted in their pan-European surveys with over 1000 end-users and AT (Assistive Technologies) specialists that training is the core barrier towards using AT by end-users. This lack of training is subsequently also recognised as main barrier to assume a daily job in a regular working environment. Although some European initiatives such as EASTIN (www.eastin.info) exist, which already gather (partial) ISO structured databases on AT, the actual ICT AT training is lacking, or not meeting the needs of the end-users. Although there are a number of initiatives on AT across the EU such as ATVET (UK), Blind people in Qualification (Austria), IMPACT, Keeping Pace with Assistive Technology (IT), they mainly address training of the trainers and professionals working with PwDs, and not the actual beneficiaries (people with disabilities) who remain largely unaware of the ICT AT that is there for them.
ATLEC aims to fill this gap and focuses on training the learners in specific skills particularly tailored according to their individual and employability needs, while also creating the job profile of ICT AT trainer.
The innovation of this project lies with the user centred design approach as well as the individual tailoring of the ATLEC curriculum and training materials to the learners’ needs, combined with the implementation of mobile learning objects to support the training, as well as applying mentoring as an additional supportive aspect of the ATLEC training services. The focus is on the person with disability (his/her needs and abilities as a learner), as well as the trainer. Also the pedagogical methodologies will be innovative, using blended learning (F2F, online and mobile), resulting in accessible WCAG2.0 compliant learning/training objects, which are thus exchangeable with other learning initiatives.
All ATLEC learning objects, training material and mobile applications are also offered through the platform the ViPi project (KA3-ICT, 511792-LLP-1-2010-1-GR-KA3-KA3NW) launched in 2012, and which is coordinated by PhoenixKM. Training the end-users in appropriate usage of ICT-based AT means also teaching them new skills, digital competencies, learning to learn skills (key competencies), empowering them with a greater confidence, adaptability and a more positive attitude towards risk taking and access to an otherwise still to a large degree inaccessible physical, technological and attitudinal employment environment.
Apart from providing them the knowledge about AT ICT usage, and what is most appropriate for their specific disability, a mentoring scheme was set up and ran in workplaces in Belgium and Greece, directly linking the knowledge and skills acquired with the practice, while also facing the reality in the working environment. Last but not least the job profile of ICT AT trainer and the workplace mentoring scheme qualifying people with disabilities from unemployed, unqualified into qualified trainers greatly increased their self-esteem, confidence and aims to provide them with easier access to the regular labour market, as well as create new employment opportunities for the People with Disabilities communities. In the long term, this will lessen the social and economic burden.
A pan-European survey was organized in all partner countries to identify the involved end-user and beneficiaries needs; Upon completion of this survey, the different outcomes were created, and then evaluated through pilots in all partner countries.
People with disabilities
Trainers, teachers and educators of people with disabilities
Special/inclusive education schools
Good practice innovations
Innovation consist in the fact that the training was combined with a mobile training application.
Good practice achievements
All results were achieved in different languages and are outlined on http://atlec-project.eu/partners/.
Innovation consist in the fact that the training was combined with a mobile training application.
All outcomes are freely available.
- Leaflet version 1 (Dutch, English, Greek, Italian)
- Leaflet version 2 (Dutch, English, Greek, Italian)
- Poster (Dutch, English, Greek, Italian)
- Roll-up banner version 1 (Dutch, English, Greek, Italian)
Project partners and other stakeholders
The ATLEC project has following participating partners:
- - Oak Field School and Sports College (contractor): Oak field School and Sports College is an all age school providing education to pupils in the City of Nottingham and surrounding authorities. The school provides an enriching and exciting curriculum catering for the needs of individuals. All pupils are statemented with Special Educational Needs and there are thorough and rigorous strategies in place to ensure that progress is monitored and targets are set. The school is a designated sports college with ICT as the second strand playing a key role in the school. The school has also been designated an International School by the British Council. As a lead school within the UK, they have access to many other schools and organisations that have experience and knowledge of AT. The school has been working with disability led user groups for the last 15 years in a range of European and other projects.
- - PhoenixKM BVBA (coordinator): PhoenixKM BVBA has extensive expertise in the fields of accessibility consultancy. It is focused towards the integration of people with disabilities in every aspect of daily life, and aims to achieve its goal by aggregating knowledge, expertise and experience in the field of education, training, and employment, and making it available to the targeted user groups through well-defined consultancy services, as well as private and publicly funded projects by our dedicated experts. PhoenixKM carries out these services and initiatives throughout Europe, but also beyond. We also have a new department that provides advice on the successful usage of social media in various business domains (media, music, service provision). Increasingly, this knowledge is being applied in all business domains in which PhoenixKM is being active, including the accessibility ones.
- - Αναπηρια Τωρα (Disability Now): Disability NOW (DN) is a Greek supportive organisation (NGO) with an established European profile, mostly managed by and for people with disabilities. It constitutes a major source of peer support and counselling, empowering people with disabilities with the appropriate knowledge and skills to self-advocate and exercise their civil rights. DN has been involved in partnerships in numerous and wide ranging National and European projects critical for the social inclusion of people with disabilities. Such projects have mainly addressed issues of accessibility, employability, education and lifelong learning, e-government and e-inclusion, independent living, peer support, adaptive technologies, etc.
- - Associazione Italiana Assistenza Spastici (A.I.A.S.) Della Provincia Di Bologna onlus: AIAS Bologna is a medium-size organisation (with approximately 100 staff members) for people with disabilities and their family members. Being a service deliverer itself it has more than 30 years of experience in working with end-users and AT. As a governing principle it always puts the interest of disabled people at the heart of its practice. Both End-user representation and technical competence are important factors for successful project work. Assessing and supporting people of all ages with reduced functional autonomy are among the core activities of AIAS Bologna. Its Assistive Technology (AT) Team operates an AT Centre (Emilia Romagna’s Regional Centre for Assistive Technology) that has become a leader and model of its kind in Italy. The ATteam further operates on behalf of the City Government the Centre for the adaptation of the domestic environment, focussing on the needs of elderly and people with disabilities and aiming at their independence and quality of life. Every year about 300 persons with disabilities refer to the assessments teams of AIAS (18 staff members among which occupational therapists, educators, AT hard and software experts, a psychologist, an architect), as well as 600 professionals for advice, guidance, training.
- - Greenhat Interactive Ltd: Greenhat Interactive’s mission is to facilitate independence and access to sustainable employment for people with disabilities. Their Social Aims and Objectives are to pursue this remit through the development of accessible, pre-vocational learning materials and the capacity building of employers to make workplaces and employment fully accessible to the whole community by increasing their awareness of the potential of disadvantaged people to make a positive contribution to the economy. They use its skills and abilities and its experience of working with disadvantaged groups in the UK and in partnership with other organisations in all sectors across Europe, to develop a range of innovative projects to increase the employability skills of excluded groups. It aims to develop social enterprises, social firms and intermediate labour markets to increase the employment opportunities available to our target groups.
- University of Athens: The Department of Communication and Media Studies of the University of Athens was founded in 1989 and currently offers courses to approximately 1,000 students at an undergraduate and postgraduate level. The Faculty of Communication and Media Studies is in the vanguard in the field of communication theory and media practice in Greece. The New Technologies Laboratory (UoANTLab) has been founded in 1996, in order to serve education and research needs of the Department in the areas of new technologies and their applications in communication, education and the media. The Laboratory has a research orientation as well as a completed record of projects in areas including the theory and applications of new technologies and their products. One of the most active research groups operating inside the Laboratory is the Adaptive Content and Systems Group.
Good practice testimonial
Evaluation took place within the project through a range of pilots in all partner countries.