The use of Assistive Technology (AT) has greatly increased over the last few years especially in the field of ICT-AT. Assistive Technology can be liberating for the person who is using the equipment as well as for their parent or carer, but all too often the equipment is not being used to its full capabilities.
The results of recent surveys with AT users and specialists throughout Europe have highlighted that the lack of appropriate or sufficient training is the core barrier towards using AT by end-users. This lack of training is subsequently also recognised as the main barrier to securing or maintaining employment within a regular working environment.
A number of training initiatives exist but they mainly address training of the trainers and professionals working with people with disabilities, and not the actual beneficiaries (people with disabilities), who remain largely unaware of the huge range of available ICT-AT or of the potential it provides for them to build their skills, their employability or their independence.
ATLEC (Assistive Technology Learning Through a Unified Curriculum – www.atlec-project.eu), partially financed by the EU Lifelong Learning programme, aims to fill this gap and will focus on training the learners in specific skills, tailored to their individual and employability needs, whilst also creating the job profile of an ICT AT trainer, therefore giving disabled people another route into employment or self-employment.
The unique part of this project is that the curriculum developed will be end-user led so that ultimately it meets the needs of any potential users.
To better grasp the problems with current training practices (or the lack of), we launched a survey that is targeted towards:
- Parent / Carer / Personal Assistant of a person with a disability
- Support Organisation representing people with disabilities
- Educator (Teacher/Further Education or VET Trainer/Higher Education Tutor)
- AT Provider (e.g. manufacturer, distributor, occupational therapist, etc)
- Policy Maker (for education, disability, employment).
The survey focuses on the AT training that is available and aims to gather feedback on the quality of the training. The online survey can be found at:
- English – http://www.phoenixkm.eu/survey//index.php?sid=48879&lang=en
- Dutch – http://www.phoenixkm.eu/survey//index.php?sid=48879&lang=nl
- Greek – http://www.phoenixkm.eu/survey//index.php?sid=48879&lang=el
- Italian – http://www.phoenixkm.eu/survey//index.php?sid=48879&lang=it
We are asking all interested people to complete the online survey so that we can start collating the information we require to develop the training curriculum. Once the research has been undertaken we will be working with people with disabilities and other stakeholders, to create the curriculum in line with the research results.
We would greatly appreciate it if you could access the survey and complete it to help us to change the lives of people with disabilities through this project.
Thank you in advance for your contribution.
ATLEC project team
Oak Field School, Nottingham (UK)
PhoenixKM BVBA (Belgium)
Disability Now (Greece)
Associazione Italiana Assistenza Spastici (A.I.A.S) (Italy)
University Of Athens (Greece)
Greenhat Interactive Ltd (UK)