ICT-enabled services are considered as a key means through which to increase the participation in society of people with disabilities and improving their quality of life. Therefore, it is necessary to encourage the use of assistive technology (AT) or person centred technology (PCT) to improve service provision to end users at an affordable cost. Furthermore, an enhanced use of technology will also "free up" human resources in the care sector and ensure that care staff continue to provide quality services to those most in need.
Whereas it is clear that PCT enhance the independence and quality of life for end users, producers of such technology (industry) are often working too far away from the users which is consequently diminishing or slowing down the development of assistive technologies suitable to end users.
The European Commission is addressing these challenges through different EU funding schemes:
- Horizon 2020, the EU programme for Research and Innovation. Through the specific strand 'Health, demographic change and wellbeing', the EC will support personalised health and care through the use of innovative technologies for better health for all. In addition, the strand 'Europe in a changing world' will fund specific activities aiming at bringing together users and producers, encouragaing collaboration between various societal actors through co-creation for growth and inclusion.
- Assitive and Assisted Living programme (AAL) funds projects in public-private partnership in the field of information and communication technology (ICT) for active and healthy ageing, with the overall objective to enhance the quality of life of older adults.
INTEREST GROUP ON PERSON CENTRED TECHNOLOGY
EASPD Interest Group on Person Centred Technology (IG on PCT) aims at improving and fostering the uptake of Person Centred Technology (PCT) in everyday practice of its members and in society in general. Based on a user centred, user empowering and user involving approach people with disabilities should benefit from new technological developments both in terms of person centred technology and access to the mainstream information society.
Its main tasks are to:
- to bring together expertise to link EASPD's policy and research pillars
- to follow-up in a pro-active way the relevant issues at European level
- to act as a rapid reaction force and as a spokesperson for EASPD towards the European Commission
- to assure the information flow on topics that are identified as important at national or regional level and require more European-wide attention (or vice versa)
The Interest Group on Person Centred Technology has produced the following newsflashes.
This project will address the digital divide by strengthening efforts in ICT and ICT AT education across Europe. The network we propose will provide opportunities to assess the state of the art, to exchange good practise and to support change by the development of foresight scenario’s and roadmaps. We will collect, describe and assess good practise in ICT and ICT AT skills development of PwD across Europe. Based on this we will identify the barriers for progress in the fight to reduce the digital divide. Finally we will design roadmaps for future priorities and actions, including recommendations for innovative content, services and pedagogies for lifelong learning. Read more on ENTELIS project.
2. ImPaCT IN EUROPE – IMPROVING PERSON CENTRED TECHNOLOGY IN EUROPE
EASPD’s members have been strongly committed to researching, promoting and implementing PCTs over the past few years. In particular, EASPD has worked on a European-funded project called ImPaCT in Europe – Improving Person Centred Technology in Europe. The main objective of the ImPaCT in Europe project was to foster exchange of information and best practice on the use of person centred technology (PCT) for people with disabilities, so as to facilitate the use of these tools to promote higher independence and quality of life for all disabled people in Europe.
The project produced four highly interesting reports on the matter:
Magdalena Verseckas, Project Officer
+32 2 233 77 22