viernes, 13 de julio de 2012

e-Inclusion Newsletter - 13/07/2012

13 July 2012

Latest News

European survey on training and usage of Assistive Technologies

(10 July 2012) ATLEC (Assistive Technology Learning Through a Unified Curriculum) is currently conducting a European survey on the training and usage of assistive technologies (AT). EU-funded ATLEC project focuses on training people with disabilities in being aware of and being able to use assistive technologies, whilst also creating the job profile of an ICT AT trainer, therefore giving people with disabilities another route into employment or self-employment. Recent surveys with AT users and specialists throughout Europe have highlighted and confirmed that the lack of appropriate or sufficient training is the core barrier towards using AT by end-users. This lack of training is subsequently also recognised as the main barrier to securing or maintaining employment within a regular working environment. A number of training initiatives exist but they mainly address training of the trainers and professionals working with people with disabilities, and not the actual beneficiaries (people with disabilities), who remain largely unaware of the huge range of available ICT-AT or of the potential it provides for them to build their skills, their employability or their independence.

Final conference of REACH 112 pilot shows that 112 emergency call centers could be accessible

(10 July 2012) Emergency services and the European emergency number 112 are currently not fully accessible to the deaf and hard of hearing. In this context, the EU-funded REACH112 project (Responding to All Citizens needing help) was closed end of June in Santiago de Compostela, Spain. "This 3-year project clearly demonstrated that communication solutions such as Total Conversation, a combination of voice, video and live text can be implemented for person-to-person communications and for 112 accessibility", commented Uberto Delprato, Project Coordinator of REACH112. During the final conference, deaf associations, emergency services and telecommunication providers got acquainted with the technological solutions deployed and tested during the three last years in five pilot countries (France, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the UK).

Telehealth & telecare EU-funded project found to improve quality of life for COPD patients

(10 July 2012) A telehealth and telecare project, implemented jointly by Milton Keynes health and social care services, has resulted in improved quality of life for patients suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), reduced hospital admissions, reduced visits to GPs and a long-term socioeconomic return of 28%. The results have been published in the British Journal of Healthcare Computing. The Milton Keynes pilot site is part of the EU-funded Commonwell project, which aims to overcome the communication gaps that separate health and social care service provision.

See also: Commonwell project

Active and healthy ageing at the OPEN DAYS - European Week of Regions and Cities

8 October 2012 - 11 October 2012

The OPEN DAYS – European Week of Regions and Cities is an annual four-day event during which cities and regions showcase their capacity to create growth and jobs, implement European Union cohesion policy, and prove the importance of the local and regional level for good European governance.

See also: Registration page to the OPEN DAYS.

Study on social innovation in Digital Agenda - SMART 2012/0049

(Deadline: 10/08/2012) A call for tender for a large study on "Social Innovation in Digital Agenda" has been published. It focuses on the social innovation enabled by the "network effect" and by new models for co-production and sharing of content. By involving entrepreneurs, academics, students, geeks, NGOs and volunteers, it aims at identifying actors and initiatives in the different fields (such as energy or democracy), analyzing and comparing their approaches and mobilizing them through public activities. It also aims at comparing strategies for innovation in EU research programmes and at providing the Commission with recommendations on research, strategy and policy aspects for Social Innovation in relation to the DAE and to Horizon 2020.

e-Skills: monitoring and benchmarking policies and partnerships

(Deadline: 28/09/2012) The goals of this service contract are to monitor key indicators and scenarios on the supply and the demand of e-skills and to benchmark national policy initiatives and multi-stakeholder partnerships in the European Union (and based on this analysis, to understand better the impact of the initiatives launched at EU and national level), to propose new approaches to remedy the situation and to identify better ways to foster multi-stakeholder partnerships to reduce e-skills shortages, gaps and mismatches.

Call for proposals - Pilot project for the development of sector skills alliances

(Deadline: 16/08/2012) Today shortages of vocational skills have become a serious problem in many economic sectors. Consequently, Europe has to better match demand for and supply of skills. The Europe 2020 Strategy has set an ambitious target of a 75% employment rate to be achieved by 2020. In this context, the Bruges Communiqué calls for vocational and educational training (VET) to better respond to labour market needs. This requires improved understanding of emerging and evolving sectors and their skills needs as well as better mechanisms to translate this understanding into corresponding training provision. The Commission's proposal for a future programme "Erasmus for All" foresees a new category of transnational partnership called Sector Skills Alliances (SSA) to promote cooperation between three categories of partners: the world of education and training (VET providers); sector-specific expertise (including social partners, sectoral federations, Chambers etc.); and bodies involved in education and training systems (public or private bodies or authorities). Drawing on evidence of skills needs and trends, SSA will work to design and deliver joint curricula and methods which provide learners with the skills required by the labour market. The overall goal is systemic impact on training in the economic sectors concerned in order to increase their competitiveness. The current call for proposals provides and direct support for testing Sector Skills Alliances to draw lessons for future implementation.

New in the Library

Companionable research project delivers robotic assistance for the elderly

5 July 2012

The Companionable EU-funded FP7 integrated project has linked intelligent home systems with Hector, a fully autonomous robot designed to play the role of a "companion" for elderly people (especially those living alone, or spending many hours of the day alone), to help them remain independent, secure fit and happy, through fall detection mechanisms integrated with emergency calls or remote monitoring services, personalised dialogue/interaction displaying emotional intelligence (using both visual, vocal and tactile interfaces, sensor-based movements such as "follow me" and natural language recognition of commands) to avoid feelings of loneliness, provide friendly reminders, store/bring important objects such as keys, wallet, and offer cognitive stimulation/games, as well seamless video connections to family and friends.

ICT for Societal Challenges

6 July 2012

The second edition of this booklet, presenting the latest developments in EU-funded ICT research and innovation, reflects the way ICT currently helps in addressing and solving societal challenges: a powerful mix of continuity and new initiatives that leads to concrete results through multidisciplinary solutions.

Category winner of the 2012 e-inclusion awards: Storybook Dads

10 July 2012

Storybook Dads uses digital technology to provide learning opportunities for prisoners and help imprisoned parents maintain contact with their children. This helps to reduce re-offending and improve the social and learning outcomes for some of the most marginalised families in society. Imprisoned parents record bedtime stories and messages for their children and then these stories are edited and enhanced by specially trained prisoners who can gain valuable work experience and a qualification in Audio Production.

See also: More on Storybook Dads

Category winner of the 2012 e-inclusion awards: Elton Kalica - Ristretti Orizzonti

A story of a young migrant who, in a new country, found himself in trouble and eventually in prison. He was given a chance and through learning ICT skills has improved his capabilities, achieved a University degree, found a good job and a created a new life. "Being able to use the technology today has allowed me to get involved in the world of work, despite the difficulties related to my past and to the economic crisis. My future is looking much more positive."

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