Yes, I can! ICT and ICT-AT skills development for all – event

Final symposium of the ViPi and ATLEC projects.

With the support of:

The Lifelong Learning Programme: education and training opportunities for all Vlaams - Europees verbindingsagentschap vzw Knowledge Centre Social Europe

Date: 4 December 2013

Venue: VLEVA (Vlaams-Europees verbindingsagentschap vzw), Kortenberglaan 71, 1000 Brussels, Belgium (Google maps) – Closest metro station: Schuman

Participants: 100-120

Duration: 9:00 hours – 18:00 hours

Event language: English

Tweetwall: view it here.

Target audience: People with disabilities, teachers, trainers, tutors, carers, policy makers, academics, ICT and AT experts and their organisations.

Agenda and presentations, including video coverage: view it here.

Two European lifelong learning projects (the VIPI and ATLEC project) came to an end and the final Symposium presented their outcomes within a wider framework of learning, employment and independent living for people with disabilities. The two projects are complementary as VIPI focuses on the development of skills in ICT for (young) adults with disabilities and ATLEC on skills and competences in ICT based Assistive Technologies. The Symposium had a twofold aim: raising awareness among gatekeepers and policy makers on the need for ICT and ICT_AT training and on the other hand providing concrete curricula, methods and tools produced in the project. Highlighting needs and showing material to tackle those needs, is considered a valuable contribution to further equal opportunities and the participation of people with disabilities in learning and employment. The symposium therefore presented academic and experience-based contributions, while interactivity, dialogue and information exchange is sought in parallel sessions and in the exhibition. The participation of people with disabilities was incentivised by an accessible venue and by accessible presentations..

Need for basic ICT and AT training for people with disabilities

Interview with Karel Van Isacker on the need for basic ICT and AT training for people with disabilities. This is made possible through the free outcomes of the ViPi (www.vipi-project.eu) and the ATLEC (www.atlec-project.eu) projects. This video was made by the Web 2LLP project (http://web2llp.eu).

Survey findings

ATLEC undertook research into the needs of people with disabilities combined with a state of the art analysis into the ICT-AT training that is available and an evaluation of the quality of the training they have received.The findings are now available. We will now be working with people with disabilities and other stakeholders, to create the curriculum in line with the research results.


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 there are European initiatives such as EASTIN (www.eastin.info), 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) which remain largely unaware of the ICT AT that is there for them. ATLEC is to fill this gap and will focus 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 will also be offered through the platform the ViPi project (KA3-ICT, 511792-LLP-1-2010-1-GR-KA3-KA3NW) aims to launch 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 will be 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 will greatly increase their self-esteem, confidence and 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.

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