SYNERGIA Project: “Innovation Transfer Synergia, for the Distance and Lifelong Training of the Deaf People via ICT based Strategies, in eBusiness and New Economy”.
Summary of project.
It’s a common remark that among the fields of special education there isn’t sufficient work, in the fields of lifelong and distance ICT based learning for the Deaf people. The Deaf people are a group that has very limited access in information and learning in the Internet. Very few services, that are offered through the Internet are created and designed to provide access to impaired people and can integrate the supporting technologies that these people use. (e.g. very few services are designed according to WCAG 2.0). Further more there is a lack of learning systems that provide training to deaf people, in the fields of business and economy, which is absolutely necessary for the Deaf’s people activation and participation in entrepreneurship.
Consequently, we understand that there is great lack in the long life and distance ICT supported training, which supports and encourages the participation of Deaf people in the field of new economy and entrepreneurship, and is developed and designed according to the special needs of the Deaf people.
The main purpose of the project is the provision of distance ICT based, learning to Deaf People, concerning the learning of principles, functions and knowledge about business and economy, in order to acquire knowledge and develop skills and dexterities, for the creation of their own enterprises. The learning system, which consists of the educational scenario, the learning material and the used technological solutions, will be pedagogically, socially, culturally, and linguistically adapted and focused in the special needs of the Deaf people of every country-partner.
The specific targets of the project are:
-Requirements analysis and determination of the Deaf learners
-Adaptation of the innovative learning material
-Development of the learning system via ICT based learning strategies
-Establishment and reassurance of the continuous cooperative innovation transfer
-Development of mechanisms for the continuous cooperative innovation transfer
The proposed project is intended to produce the following deliverables:
-The development and provision of the learning system, which includes the adaptation of the learning material and the used technological solutions.
-The pilot implementation of the learning system in the countries/partners.
-The creation of human networks of specialist and organizations, for the continuous cooperative innovation transfer.
In the times of the Information Society and the rapid advancements of the technology, where information is getting more and more digital form, the need for the improvement of the digital accessibility of the Impaired People is getting more distinctive and necessary. The Impaired People like in their everyday life are coming against accessibility problems, a challenge that they face in the Internet too.
The proposed project is focusing in the transfer innovation of products and results of past projects of the participating partners. The innovation transfer will be realized through the national Sign Language of every country/partner, and through collaborative distance learning.
It is the first effort for the innovation transfer, of products concerning the education of the Deaf People in the fields of e-commerce, business and economy. Its worth mentioning, at this point, that the Greek Sign Language (GSL), is formally the legitimate language of the Deaf’s people community, by specific legislative decree that was voted by the Greek Parliament. According to Eurostat, the Impaired People represent 12% of the European countries population. The Hearing Impaired People represent 1% of the European countries population according to the statistic data, of the Greek Federation of the Deaf. What is more according to Eurostat also is that people with low education, which many of them are unemployed, have fewer opportunities for vocational and lifelong learning.
The unemployment of the Impaired People, as it was estimated by the Council for the Evaluation of the European Project “Confronting the Exclusion in the Labour Market”, is 64% for the male population and 88% female population. The majority of the Impaired People still get very few vocational and lifelong training services, because the structures for the vocational training provided by the formal educational system are still very immature.
Based on today’s vocational and lifelong training conditions for the Hearing Impaired people, the main target of the proposed project is the promotion of “equal opportunities” for this group, through the access and the participation in vocational training. The e-training of the target group in the fields of e-commerce, e-business and economy through an e-learning environment is very important also for their education concerning the development of skills in the use of the Internet and the learning though the web, qualifications needed for their lifelong and vocational training, that will open new horizons in their employment careers.
Within the actions of the proposed project, are participating organizations that are take action in the fields of the vocational training for the Hearing Impaired people and especially in the field of distance education and training. Moreover in the project are participating organizations and societies for the Deaf and hard of hearing people.