Twenty Five Years of Training and Education in ICT Design for All and Assistive TechnologyBy Whitney, Gill; Keith, Suzette; Buhler, CHristian; Hewer, Sue; Lhotska, Lenka; Miesenberger, Klaus; Sandnes, Frode E.; Stephanidi, Constantine; Velasco, Carlos A.; Technology and Disability, Volume 23, Number 3, Pages 163-170
Publication Date: January 2011
Article describes the relevant changes occurring in training and education in the design and use of information and communication technology (ICT) in Europe. Over the last twenty to twenty-five years, Design for All (DfA) principles and practices, including assistive technologies, have been collected into formal and informal courses which have been used to train designers of ICT products and systems. The development of courses and materials has been supported by a number of European Union (EU)-funded initiatives. In addition, there have been individual responses to the demands for training courses in higher education that include five case studies from around Europe (Greece, Austria, Czech Republic, Norway, and the United Kingdom). EU and national initiatives to support digital inclusion are trying to address the needs of all those who are subject to social disadvantage as a consequence of age and disability as well as other factors such as low educational achievement, poverty and living in remote rural areas. Applying DfA principles offers the opportunity of designing systems that are better matched to the existing needs of those who are technologically disadvantaged. However progress towards developing more specialist courses or more fully integrated DfA principles in mainstream technology courses remains slow. The latest initiatives include the development of a curriculum for professional training and this offers an important alternative educational route, adding knowledge of DfA to those with established technical skills.
Published by: IOS Press (Website:http://www.iospress.nl)
Association for the Advancement of Assistive Technology in Europe (AAATE) (Web Site: http://www.aaate.net )