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ENTELIS State of the Art Report (public version)

This deliverable is produced within Work Package 3 of the ENTELIS project (WP3 - State of Art Analysis on innovation in ICT and ICT-AT education and learning). It contains a State of the Art study regarding ICT and ICT-AT learning and education, in its broadest sense, for persons with disabilities of all ages. Data of different nature were collected from different sources and using different methodologies, including a literature review of scientific articles and conference papers, interviews with persons with disabilities and other stakeholders, the collection of innovative experiences.

In a first section the conceptual framework of the project (D.3.2) is briefly presented. It was developed to facilitate awareness of the elements involved and their relation-ships. In the framework the end-user with disabilities has the most central position as furthering his/her digital skills acquisition and development is the key objective of this project. It further includes different significant actors and other parameters (learning environment, needs & aspirations, policies & practices and experiences), functioning and interacting in a person surrounding “ecosystem”.

In section 2 some interesting statistical and other data from Europe and internation-ally are presented, indicating that the digital divide is a fact and that it affects the life of PwD of all ages, including the elderly. Data from previous projects, as well as re-ports by international and European organizations, call for the need of reinforcing the development of digital competencies of vulnerable groups, including PwD and older adults.

Further, the main outcomes of the literature review (D.3.1) are presented. An overall of 150 scientific articles and 13 relevant and recent projects have been studied and analysed under the following analytical themes: ICT & ICT-AT in education, ICT & ICT-AT and older adults, ICT & ICT-AT and daily life (communication, health & wellbeing, independence, environment and factors, hobbies, activities), ICT & ICT-AT in em-ployment, resources for ICT & ICT-AT, barriers to ICT & ICT-AT, best practices in ICT & ICT-AT.

The report also presents the analysis of interview data collected by six members of the consortium, including the third country partner for the United States (AIAS, EUC, SAMK, OtW, Hft and IMPT) from end-users, service & product providers and train-ers/educators. These data were analysed under the same themes as the literature review.

In general, outcomes of the literature review and interview data analysis indicated the following: ICT and ICT-AT can be effective in all domains (education, communica-tion, daily life, health, community etc) of the lives of PwD of all ages; both literature and interview participants emphasize the vital role of ICT-AT for independence, so-cial integration, educational success, employment opportunities, and overall quality of life of PwD; there seems to be heterogeneity in the way technology is considered and utilized among various groups of PwD, and there seem to be groups of individu-als less included in processes relevant to them, such as people with intellectual disa-bilities; a number of challenges and barriers for ICT-AT competence development are identified, such as financial issues, lack of awareness, lack of ICT-AT technology adoption skills, failure to appreciate use and functionality of AT, high learning curve in technology skills that the adoption of ICT-AT may require from some individuals, lack of training for trainers, insufficient and inconsistent supportive policies, etc.

The report concludes discussing the results and providing suggestions for further re-search, for policy and practice and for the continuity of the project itself. It seems that there is need for further investigation into the reasons for the adoption/abandonment of ICT-AT, into the ways to respond to user’s heterogeneous needs for ICT-AT skills, on mechanisms to reduce the impact of barriers and to strengthen facilitating factors for the acquisition of digital competencies according each individual’s personal and/or career needs and aspirations, on the effects of popular mainstream and mobile technology on digital skills acquisition and on more consistent and comparable statistical data in Europe and internationally. For policy and practice, the following needs are identified: the need for increasing awareness, the need for specific professional development among teachers and parent training, the need to reduce the gap in the transition from secondary to higher education, the need to improve access to appropriate technology, the need for more inclusively designed & accessible technology, and the need to involve all relevant stakeholders representing various perspectives. Finally, it is suggested that through the project as well as after its completion, the network could explore further possibilities for the development ICT-AT learning programmes customized to needs and users in various groups and also develop position papers and dissemination material that will target the general public, but also specific groups of policy makers, the industry, the academia, the practitioners/professionals and the end-users.

Katerina Mavrou (EUC), Maria Meletiou-Mavrotheris (EUC), Merja Sallinen (SAMK), Anne Karke (SAMK), Evert-Jan Hoogerwerf (AIAS)
Entelis Consortium,, 2015
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ENTELIS State of the Art Report
Entelis Deliverables