Training on Digital accessibility and Assistive Technology
EASPD’s Member Forum on Person Centred Technology (PCT) will be holding a bespoke training on Wednesday 12th October 2022 at 17h30-20h30 on digital accessibility and assistive technology for service providers active in the social care sector. The training will take place at the db San Antonio Hotel & Spa, Malta and is open for all registered conference participants. Please visit the conference website to register: https://www.easpdconference.eu/
The training is part of EASPD’s Lighthouse Network initiative and will be organised together with the Horizon project Smart4Health. The course will cover an introduction to digital accessibility and the types of assistive technologies that can remove barriers and will end with an interactive session on assessing digital accessibility. Participants will gain valuable advice on how to remove other kinds of barriers to accessibility, such as language and the consideration of the needs of disabled people.
Training goals and learning outcomes
The main goal of this training is to provide an overview of accessibility and assistive technology, and their role and benefits in improving the quality of the service to persons with disabilities. The first session will cover the basic concepts of digital accessibility, who is affected by accessibility (target group), and some case studies. Participants will gain valuable advice on how to remove other kinds of barriers to accessibility, such as language and the consideration of the needs of disabled people. The second session will cover an introduction to assistive technologies, their different kinds and usage and how AT is used to enhance participation, and awareness of in-built support in mainstream technology that enhance accessibility. The third session will cover a demonstration of a health care data sharing app developed under the Horizon project Smart4Health.
Why is this training important?
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, disability service providers have explored ways to adapt methods in delivering quality service in digital first environment. In addition, this has led to an improvement in digital literacy among service users and staff as well as unearthing an appetite and capacity for change and innovation. EASPD member organisations too found a myriad of ways to stay in touch with their users and to continue providing services online. There were many challenges involved in creating and implementing these services, as most service providers had little or no experience in working online with their users. However, more work has to be done to improve the digital competencies and awareness on accessibilities to ensure quality service for people with disabilities and older adults.
EASPD and its members have been involved in projects such as ENTELIS, ENTELIS+, RightToConnect, Dig-i-Ready, Smart4Health, which are all in the field of accessibility and assistive technology helping service providers and end users such. The training will provide a foundation to buid competencies of Digital accessibility and assistive technologies and its use in improving quality of services for persons with disabilites.
Evert Jan Hoogerwerf
EASPD’s member forum on person-centred technology (PCT)
Training session 1
Intro to Digital accessibility (Entelis+)
Training session 2
Supporting participation using assistive technology: an introduction
Dr May Agius & Sharon Borg Schembri
Assistive technology Practitioner
Access to Communication & Technology Unit (ACTU)
Aġenzija Sapport, Malta
Training session 3/Case Study
Ilaria Valoti is a staff member of the Projects for Innovation Sector of AIAS Bologna onlus. She has a Master Degree in Communication studies (Bologna) and a Master degree in Museum Studies (Paris). Since 2005 she has been working in the field of cultural and social innovation, focusing on digital technologies and inclusion.
She worked in several French science centres as project officer and in research on critical approach to digital uses and mediations, with the Laboratoire des Sciences de l’information et de la communication, Université Sorbonne Paris Nord.
She was engaged by Fondazione Giacomo Brodolini in the launching of the Innovation Labs of Regione Emilia Romagna in Ferrara and Modena, before joining the AIAS project team in 2020. Today she works in ERASMUS+ projects, in other national/international projects, focused on digital inclusion (ENTELIS+, RTCN, MEME) and she contributes to AIAS’s communication and community management.
Dr May Agius
Dr May Agius has 25 years’ experience as a speech and language therapist in Ireland and Malta. For the last 13 years, she has worked to build up assistive technology services in Malta through the Access to Communication and Technology Unit (ACTU) in Agenzija Sapport in Malta. Her main area of expertise is augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) for autistic individuals.
Dr May Agius finalised her PhD studies 2 years ago and has presented her research at the last three international ISAAC conferences as well as at the AAATE conference. She has been published in the journal Augmentative and Alternative Communication. Dr Agius has been invited to speak on person centred technology and disabilities at several international conferences including EASPD and ZeroProject conferences. She is a co-chair for the Person Centred Technology member forum of the EASPD. As well as acting as an advisor on european projects, Dr May Agius is also a Senior Visiting Lecturer at the University of Malta.
Current areas of interest include AAC for multilinguilism as well as the assessment and implementation of AAC for autistic individuals.
Sharon Borg Schembri
Sharon Borg Schembri currently works as a Senior Assistive Technology Practitioner (Occupational Therapist) with ACTU (Access to Communication and Technology Unit) an assistive technology service offered by Agenzija Sapport. She holds a Master’s degree in Inclusive Education and Communities with the University of Malta.
Her areas of interest and publications are in the use of Assistive Technology (AT) and its role in facilitating access to literacy and participation in inclusive education, the implementation of AAC systems with children with Autism and policy implementation in relation to assistive technology service delivery.
Recent work includes participation in projects related to building a Europe-wide network of inclusion practitioners, and to implement digital structures and accessibility in the educational setting to address all learners' individual needs. Ms.Borg lectures on Assistive Technology and Educational Technologies at the University of Malta and Malta Leadership Institute.She is also an active member of the EASPD person–centered technology forum.