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AEBR and ENTELIS+, making technology accessible for a more inclusive society

05 November 2021


Access to technology is increasingly becoming an essential means of developing a full social and personal life, as the world gets more connected and Europe prepares for a full digital transition in many sectors of its economy, society, and everyday life of its population. Thus, projects such as Entelis+, of which AEBR is an associated partner, and focused on making technology accessible in order to create a more inclusive society, are of paramount importance. In a “digital age”, to hamper or to not provide means for some of society’s most vulnerable members means essentially to exclude them from participation in social and economic life.

Entelis+ is a project led by EASPD (European Association of Service Providers for Persons with Disabilities), alongside a European network of partners, which work together with the aim of reducing the digital gap for people with disabilities. These organisations cooperate in the development of strategies and policies for the development of digital skills. Furthermore, AEBR and other project partners act as a guide to facilitate the implementation of good practices by staff towards inclusion of learners with disabilities, therefore stimulating an inclusive education.

We acknowledge that access to technology, and particularly to technology that is accessible for people with disabilities, varies according to place and societal conditions. In many, if not most cases , the level of access to such technologies is not sufficient. This is specially the case in remote or less populated areas as the most of border regions are. The Entelis+ project is based on inclusive education as one of the key tools to mitigate the digital gap. We believe mainstream schools should be restructured at all levels in order to accommodate the needs of all children on equal terms.

Indeed, to achieve this goal it is crucial for local and regional authorities to be involved in the project. These authorities are responsible for adopting laws and policies to reduce the digital gap, and, as such, it is fundamental to raise awareness among them of the importance of ensuring the employability of persons with disabilities through the use of technology.

For this reason, AEBR and the municipality of Rubí (Spain) organised in 2020 a workshop to discuss the role of local and regional authorities, mainly in border areas, in promoting employability and reducing the gap. The Association of European Border Regions and EASPD also work together promoting coordination between service providers for people with disabilities of different countries in border areas and offering local and regional authorities tools for providing quality education, including in digital capacitation, for all, regardless of disability or other personal circumstances.

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